Sam Dekker and Olivia Harlan are using their wedding gifts to help kids with cancer

Yahoo Sports

Getting married these days means you have your pick of pretty much anything in the world to put on your registry. The wares of any internet store is at your disposal, and you can even ask wedding guests to help pay for your honeymoon.

But Sam Dekker of the Los Angeles Clippers and his fiancée Olivia Harlan, an ESPN sideline reporter, decided they wanted to go in a different direction for their impending nuptials. They told the Sheboygan Press that instead of setting up a traditional registry, they asked their friends and family to make donations to a charity that’s important to them: the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation.

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Dekker told the Press that the decision to ask for donations to CCFF instead of physical gifts was an easy one.

“When we sat down and talked about our wedding, we both realized we’re both blessed with so many things and we’re in a position to really help people and get a widespread reach to help people,” Dekker said.

The Children’s Cancer Family Foundation is based in Northeast Wisconsin, which is where both Harlan and Dekker are from. The charity helps local families preserve their family life and normalcy when their child has cancer. According to Dekker, CCFF gives grants to families to help them cover medical bills, mortgage payments, travel costs, anything that makes their lives easier and less stressful as they deal with a cancer-stricken child. Dekker has been working with CCFF for four years, and Harlan joined him when they started dating.

Sam Dekker and Olivia Harlan decided to ask wedding guests to make donations to the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation instead of buying them gifts, and they have been blown away by the generous response. (Photo courtesy of the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation)
Sam Dekker and Olivia Harlan decided to ask wedding guests to make donations to the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation instead of buying them gifts, and they have been blown away by the generous response. (Photo courtesy of the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation)

Their wedding is on July 14, but the couple has already surpassed their original goal of $15,000, and they’re completely overwhelmed by the generosity of their family and friends.

“So our goal was $15,000 for this wedding fundraiser, but now we’ve raised it because we have been so amazed by the outpour,” Harlan said. “Everyone is just completely opening up their hearts and their checkbooks. It just shows how much this area, this community, kind of looks out for one another.”

Dekker and Harlan have opened up their wedding fundraiser to the public, and they intend to write a personal note to every single person who donates at least $50.

“We’re hoping that we have to write so many on our honeymoon that we get writer’s cramps,” Harlan said.

To donate to Harlan And Dekker’s wedding fundraiser for CCFF (and give them honeymoon hand cramps for a good cause), click here visit their donation site.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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