Following their amazing toy donation initiative last month, and in time for the Christmas season, The Gift CK is sharing ’10 Stories of Giving’ stemming from their November 21 event, which includes personal accounts from local residents.
The Gift CK has asked the Sydenham Current to share these inspirational stories and we are happy to showcase them for 10 days straight, starting on Saturday, December 19, 2020.
Here is story #7:
Insight: The citizens that operated the Miracle and The Gift tried to have no hierarchy of command. No one has authority or say over anyone else is the intention. That’s why “no permission needed” and “no goals” are two big pillars. Looking inside and listening to what feels right is something many believe drive this movement.
This story is written in simply order of events.
Everyone is encouraged to tell it how they see fit to tell the real story.
Order of events:
Anna buys gifts for younger kids for The Gift (easy to buy for, neutral gifts, can buy a lot more for money).
Communication issues start between Salvation Army and Wallaceburg community captains about storage and disbursement of gifts before they arrive.
Salvation Army summits Christmas wish list for certain families. On top of one boys list, head phones.
Rick does not see these lists.
Wallaceburg has some organizational issues leaving community captians Rick and Loree fearful that donations may not be great.
Beats are going on Sale at Shoppers Drug Mart on Nov 21 (on Tammy’s sons list).
Anna calls around and Corunna is closest place to carry them and they have three pairs.
Anna drives to Corunna Shoppers early before it opens on Nov 21. Joins line as there were many sales there that day.
She buys the beats for her son and gets back in the car.
Anna feels something overwhelming. Says “it completely took me over.” Something tells her that she needs to go back inside and buy another pair of beats for The Gift. She pauses “that will really defeat the purpose of the money saving.” She claims “I couldn’t think of the reason I wanted to go back in and buy them, I just felt compelled”.
Finally, after the mental debate she decides to listen to the calling and go back into the store and get another pair.
Driving back from Corunna Anna starts to think of how everyone shops for younger kids because of the reasons she did, but we don’t often think of the older ones because they are harder to buy for and are typically more expensive.
She puts the beats on her doorstep. Her son says “what? You are putting Beats out there?” not
knowing he has a pair on the way.
Rick and Loree head out to do their route at noon and quickly hear some volunteers are back already.
“Oh no, our fears might be right, no donations”.
Out picking out his route, Rick see’s a pair of Beats Head phones on a doorstep “Brand spanking new in the box” and he thinks to himself its going to be okay, at somebody donating and receiving these beats makes it worth it on its own.
They get back to an overflowing drop off depot. Car after car of loaded gifts. Volunteers had to start unloading onto the parking lot as there was no more space in the building. Rick and Loree both now wondering what they were ever scared of.
Rick learns from Loree back at The Wallaceburg Gift warehouse, a boy put head phones on his wish.
Icing on the cake for Rick “He is getting some headphones alright!”
Rick doesn’t learn until a few days later, it was Salvation Army that had gotten that Christmas gift.
Yet another lesson for Rick from the headphones.
It was a moment of realization that we are all the same team, we all want the same thing and it takes all of us. They wouldn’t have found the perfect child for those beats had it not been for the work and trust built from Salvation Army with that family.
The boy wouldn’t have got the beats if not for Rick, Loree and the rest of the communities’ efforts.
Rick shares his favorite story from the whole experience live on The Gift CK Facebook page.
Sure enough, one of the thirty live viewers is Anna herself. Anna says her heart pounded right out of her chest.
“What are the odds I happening to be watching this video.”
She feels both an instant connection to Rick and the young boy.
A very private person, she feels she has to reach out to Rick. “Rick, when once I saw you on that video saying that boy had head phones on his wish list, then I knew for sure, always follow my heart.”
“Thinking of that moment of truth, when Anna was in her car, will always remind me to look inside.” – Steve Desjardin, Lally Auto Group, story sponsor.