HASLETT, Mich. — For a 29 wedding anniversary, its said couples are supposed to exchange furniture. But Patrick and Ariniko O'Meara are celebrating with a little kindness instead of a couch.
The O'Meara's met over 30 years ago.
“We met in high school at Eastern High School in english class,” Ariniko said.
After dating for a month, they decided it wasn't going to work out. Until they met again a few years down the road.
“We dated for month at eastern and then we reconnected again in college and that's when it stuck,” Ariniko said.
They just celebrated their 29 wedding anniversary this month, but instead of a traditional, romantic celebration, they wanted to give to everyone else.
“It being our 29th anniversary it became 29 acts of kindness,” the O'Meara's said.
The couple said the pandemic has taken a toll on those around them and they felt guilty celebrating.
“Family and friends we’ve had five widowed this last year," Ariniko said. “It just felt like celebrating that is almost like a survivors remorse where you just feel kind of bad celebrating something that you know so many people are hurting from.”
Their 29 random acts of kindness started with a few donations to local organizations, book donations and giving away their bottle return slips to a stranger in the grocery store. This weekend, they spent their time picking up trash in Old Town and flowering blitzing people passing by.
“Just kind of help people brighten their day a little bit," Ariniko said.
But they did celebrate in a more romantic way on the actual day of their anniversary.
“The dinner and a movie turned into more like takeout and a sunset," Patrick O'Meara said. "So, it worked.”
The most priceless gift they could receive was people's reactions.
So far, they've crossed 25 things off their list. They plan to keep going until they finish all 29.
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