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Love and kindness overcome thieves, Hurricane Matthew

RALEIGH, N.C. — When a North Carolina couple got to the “for better or worse” part of their wedding vows this weekend, they’d already lived through it.

More than a week ago, Tyler Ahrendsen and Sharifa Mattis evacuated their home in Raleigh after a large tree crashed in their backyard during Hurricane Matthew. It snapped power lines running to the home.

Then the thieves hit. Someone broke into their home and took a ton of stuff, including items for the wedding, like Mattis’ shoes.

“It feels dirty,” Mattis told CNN affiliate WNCN. “It just feels like someone we don’t know, and we’ll never see, saw everything of us.”

For better

But this is where things started to get better.

Friends and strangers started chipping in, helping them replace all the wedding items that were stolen. A local caterer donated beverages, napkins, cups and other items for the reception.

“Vendors, old friends, people we know, people we don’t know, strangers just have really opened themselves up and really just given from the heart, and really helped us,” Ahrendsen said.

The run of bad luck, while painful, reminded them of what’s really important, Mattis said.

“Everything that happened just put things in perspective and just kind of re-prioritized why we’re doing all this, and that’s because we’re in love and we just want to get married and start our family.”