04/16/2013 04:26 pm ET

Wedding Gift: Woman Hopes To Find Stranger Who Paid For Nuptials 54 Years Ago


A stranger paid for Canadian couple Karel and Tom Nordstrom's wedding in 1958. Now, in the wake of Tom's death last month, Karel is launching an international search for their kind-hearted benefactor.

The Nordstroms, then twenty-something college students, married at a courthouse in Birmingham, England and had dinner with a few friends afterwards, the Birmingham Mail reported Wednesday. But when they asked for the check, the restaurant staff told them a man who wished to remain anonymous had already paid the bill.

That kind gesture had a profound impact on the Nordstroms -- Karel said over the next 50 years, they always tried to give back to their community, and described the stranger's act of kindness as "the start of how we think in this family." They often told the story of their wedding to their children.

“Each time he told the story, my father ended up with a tear in his eye,” said the couple's daughter, Juli.

“For many years, we would wonder, ‘Why would someone do that?’ We would go through various scenarios ... and there really isn’t an answer,” Karel told Canadian newspaper The Province Thursday. “We’d certainly like to thank them but also just to say how a small gesture can change a person’s life.”

Anyone with information is asked to email

Earlier this month, another couple got their dream wedding thanks to the kindness of strangers -- when the groom-to-be became terminally ill, he and his fiance posted a video on YouTube asking for help paying for their wedding, and received thousands of dollars in donations.

Click through the slideshow below to see HuffPost readers' own random acts of kindness.

Random Act of Kindness Day

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