Imagine if your wedding dress was given away by mistake to Goodwill.
That's exactly what happened to Springfield native Rachele Familia.
Familia thought her dress was tucked away for safe keeping at her aunt and uncle's house, but just found out some crushing news: it was not only given away, but sold at the Goodwill in Palmer.
Now, she's in a desperate search to find it.
Familia's Facebook posts for help finding her wedding dress have been shared nearly 900 times, reading in part, "Today, I found out that my wedding dress was given to the Goodwill in Palmer back in March."
Another post said: "Please, please...I'm begging my friends back home to please share this."
"I was so hurt. I was just shocked," Familia explained.
We talked to Familia via Facetime. She's a veteran and her husband Greg is active duty. They now live with their two children in California.
Married in 2004, as a wedding gift, Familia's aunt had her dress preserved and boxed and insisted on storing it in her home.
Sadly, her aunt died a few years ago.
While cleaning house in March, her uncle mistakenly included the dress in a Goodwill donation.
"Oh, I cried, I cried. My kids actually thought something happened to my mom. I cried my eyes out," Familia noted.
It turns out the donation also included Familia's aunt's wedding dress. Stuck in California, members of Familia's family, including her uncle, rushed to the Palmer store, but both had been sold.
"I tell myself it's just a dress and if it's meant to be, I will get the dress back, but I also know that someone out there who really needed the dress has it and will cherish it," Familia explained.
She's hoping the person who bought the dress will see this and reach out.
However, no matter what, "This has showed me that there are so many amazing people in this world, to reach out for me, to offer to put up flyers for me. I mean these are strangers, they don't know me and that in itself goes to show you how many people are still out there in this world and that's awesome," Familia noted.
By the way, yesterday was Rachele and Greg's 14th wedding anniversary.
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