• October 21, 2014

Iowa State Daily

"Operation 32" offers new brides financial relief for their dream wedding

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:46 pm, Tue Mar 5, 2013.

Megan Erickson has been surprised with several acts of kindness, a project now dubbed "Operation 32."

Operation 32 is where one bride is picked to get a wedding dress and many other wedding essentials for free. Pure Bridal owners Rita Gartin and Kayse Carter decided to help Erickson with financial issues concerning her wedding after an accident left her fiance unable to work.

Pure Bridal, on South 16th Street in Ames, will now have Operation 32 every year. 

On Jan. 9, Erickson was modeling wedding gowns in Pure Bridal’s anniversary sale, when she was told she would be the first of many Operation 32 brides.

Erickson was told that she would be receiving a free wedding dress from Pure Bridal, free wedding bands for herself and her fiance from Shari K’s, free wedding gown alterations from KN Custom Sewing, and many more free wedding needs.

“Everyone was in tears; she was so surprised and overwhelmed with all of the gifts,” Carter said.

Erickson was offered these presents because of her random acts of kindness, after she anonymously put down $100 for a complete stranger’s wedding dress.

Erickson came up with the idea because of Facebook. While scrolling through her news feed she read Sarah Moore’s 31st birthday status.

Moore runs her own photography studio in Boone. Moore wrote on Facebook on Dec. 7:

“Today is MY BIRTHDAY and my birthday wish is for 32 of my facebook friends to ‘pay it forward’ today in some way then post it on my wall! Kindness is like a boomerang! Send some out today in honor of me instead of gifts! Can’t wait to see the creative ways you all can pay it forward!”

This status got the ball rolling for over 64 of Moore’s Facebook friends, including Erickson.

“Kindness is reciprocal, and unwarranted kindness or being kind when you don’t have to be inspires people,” Moore said.

Friends of a soon-to-be bride can turn in letters, videos, phone calls, etc., explaining why their friend deserves an almost-free wedding. Many ISU students getting engaged could benefit from Operation 32 at Pure Bridal.

Moore is very proud and happy for Erickson.

“I love when good things happen to people,” Moore said.

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