For the love of...Erica.

**UPDATE: THEY WON!  Thanks so much for your help!  Y'all are good people.** Okay, here's the deal.  I have this friend Erica.  She was my VERY FIRST friend when I moved to North Carolina.  At the ripe age of 6 we wrote plays together and created roller skating performances for our parents in her garage.  She stuck with me through my most horrific, embarrassing acting.  We rode to high school together for a few years and kept secrets for one another - she is that kind of friend.

And guess what: she is getting married!


But last month, something really mean and ugly happened to my sweet friend.

One evening as her fiance, Jesse, was walking home from work in Atlanta, he was violently assaulted by 2 strangers.  Jesse required major facial reconstructive surgery.  He and Erica postponed their wedding as doctors rebuilt the right side of his face (which was completely shattered) with titanium plates and plastic implants.

They are a precious, brave couple of people who are very much in love.

So here's what I think we should do:  I think that we should bless them.  I think as much frustration and sadness as these strangers added to Erica and Jesse's lives - we should add love and grace and joy 10x over.

(This post is in no way sponsored or solicited.  I just believe in loving people in every way we can. Just throwing that out there.  Carry on.)

Erica and Jesse have entered into a contest to win a wedding photography and coordination package worth $7,000.  (Erica is a photographer herself, so the pictures she'll have of her day are a priority to her, more than flowers, dresses, food and all the other wedding what-not.)  The contest ends tonight at midnight, and she and Jesse are a bit behind.

I hereby launch the "For The Love of Erica (and Jesse, Too) Campaign."

Will you go vote for my childhood friend? I promise to share the gorgeous photographs of her wedding with you when they win.

Here's how to vote/bless:

1.  Go to this Facebook link (here).

2.  Like their status. (The link will take you directly to the status with their names in it - Erica and Jesse.)

That is all.  You're done.  Go treat yourself to an ice cream for having done a kind thing today.

The contest closes at midnight, so if you could hop on that, that would be great.  If you feel so moved, share the link to this blog on your profile, so that your friends who don't read here (but should) can vote for Erica and Jesse, too.

C'mon guys.  Let's spread the love.  For the love of weddings, love, childhood friends, good surgeons, anti-mugging and bullying, photography, and Erica.

Thanks a million, Kate

That's Jesse's old face.  Don't worry, his new one is just as handsome.