Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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WE NEED YOUR HELP
I was at the food bank last week, and watched as a father and his son went to the bread racks to get some bread to put in a box to take home. The young lad, trying to be helpful, started filling the box. The dad stopped him and said, “Thank-you for helping, but we have to put some of this back.” The young lad asked, “Why Daddy?” The father softly explained that there were others that also needed food, so they should only take what they need.
Well, folks… I don’t know if it was a full moon or if I was just emotional, but I felt myself fighting the urge to cry. I found myself admiring this man. Here was a man that, obviously, had to swallow his pride to ask for help and yet still had the wellbeing of others foremost in his mind. He could have loaded up as much as possible so as to benefit from his visit for a longer period of time. But he chose to not only be considerate of others, but to use this opportunity to teach his son to be considerate of the needs of others.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being in the presence of people making large donations to their community. I can honestly say, we are blessed to live in a community that has a big heart. It’s that generosity that you find displayed within our publication on a weekly basis. But the acts of generosity that tend to move me personally are the ones where sacrifices are made. The children who ask for donations to a cause in lieu of birthday presents, or the folks that cut their vacation shorter so as to contribute to others. The acts of selfless volunteering when they could be tending to something else in their own busy lives. Or the folks that do with less so that they can share with others who have none. These stories not only warm my heart, but reassure me that there is much more good in the world than there is bad. But this was not a person making a donation of time or money. So why did it move me so strongly?
Through this incident I’ve come to realize that not all generosity is defined by what we give. Generosity can be shown by how much we refrain from taking. Sacrifice can be displayed by what we refrain from taking advantage of. And compassion can be displayed by thinking of the needs of others before our own. To give when we have plenty is generous, but to go without so that others can benefit is true sacrifice.
As many of you know all too well, the Fort McMurray fires left many in need. Many of us generously gave to the Red Cross to help those folks out until they could get back home and, hopefully, rebuild their lives. But what many of us haven’t really thought about is the increase in demand for the needs within our community. Our local food bank was suddenly inundated with folks from Fort Mac that had no means of getting any money but still needed to eat. There were several weeks where there was no financial aid available, so our food bank helped these folks out. So, you can well imagine, that between helping out the Fort Mac folks and the increase in demand locally because of the current economic downturn, the shelves at the Airdrie Food Bank are looking a little bare. So we’ve come up with a plan to maybe help rectify the situation.
This Saturday, we will have volunteers and trucks at seven locations in Airdrie. They will be set-up outside of No Frills, Safeway, Superstore, and all four locations of Shoppers Drug Mart. The volunteers will have lists of things needed by our food bank. We are asking our readers to look for these trucks when they go grocery shopping and take a list. We aren’t expecting anyone to buy everything on the list, but if everyone buys one or two items with their groceries, I know that collectively, we can all help restock the food bank shelves. Your food bank donations can then be dropped off at these volunteer driven trucks, and they will take the goods back to the food bank at the end of the day.
If everyone gives a little, whatever they can, even if it’s only one item, we can, hopefully, collect enough to help the food bank get through the summer. Please thank the volunteers that are giving of their time on that day when you see them. And thank you to the staff and management of No Frills, Safeway, Superstore, and all four locations of Shoppers Drug Mart, for facilitating our volunteers. The city-wide food drive will run from 9 am – 3 pm.