Neighbor stories

The (can)did road to ‘I do’

Written by Annie Barco

It’s not every day that you hear about a 19- and 21-year-old raising money for their wedding. But in Carlsbad, CA, that is exactly what Mikayla and Joel are doing – and in the most unexpected of ways.

Joel, 21, and Mikayla, 19, first met through a mutual friend in February 2017. A year later, they’ve decided they want to spend forever together, and are gearing up for a big proposal at the end of the year. The couple agreed that they wanted to pay for their engagement and wedding themselves, so they began brainstorming ways they could raise some extra money in addition to their annual salaries.

Joel thought back to the days when he and his grandfather would collect and recycle cans and bottles to raise money for summer camp and other school activities. Figuring it would be a fun and easy way to make some extra cash while also getting to know their neighbors, the couple decided they’d put their recycling hats on and give it a go.

The couple posted to Nextdoor in their neighborhoods, sharing their story and explaining that they were hoping to save $20,000 for their dream engagement and wedding. They shared a sweet photo of themselves as an extra touch, and waited to see if any neighbors had cans or bottles that they would donate.

To their excitement, they began receiving response after response from neighbors who were more than willing to help. Between just two neighbors, the couple collected 19 bags of cans and bottles. Every time they met up with a new neighbor to collect their recycling, the neighbor always wanted to hear more about their journey as a couple. One neighbor even offered to lend Mikayla one of the dresses she had for the big day.

So far the couple has collected a couple hundred dollars towards their goal. But most importantly, they’ve collected a community of friends and neighbors they will never forget.

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