Every time I was involved at the
I always had the question lobbed at me:
"What's in it for you?"
Most people who are involved in a charity
have a very direct affiliation. Either they or
someone they love has been
I would tell them "I guess I just like organizing things" and then deflect to some of the great things we were doing.
What I couldn't tell them was that deep down I hoped that if I helped children and people in need, perhaps my loved ones would be spared from illness.
Today it’s called "Pay it Forward". Back then it was, well, my secret.
One of the major fund-raisers that I chaired and co-chaired was the
"24 Hours in June" relay.
There were several around Canada, however with promotional and managerial tweaking along with the generosity of Greater Monctonians (population 130,000) we were the most successful "24 Hour" relay per capita in Canada. The last one I was involved with raised in excess of $500,000.
50% of the money went to Disabled Children. The remaining 50% was distributed to local charities including the two hospitals in the Greater Moncton Area.
On May 5th, 1991 my wife Lyndsay and I were blessed with Joshua, the first of our two sons.
After several hours of arduous labour Joshua went into distress, catapulted into complications and was immediately transported to intensive care. No smiles, no cuddles, oooing or cooing... he just disappeared down the hallway.
I sat in front of Joshua holding him through the rubber gloves built into the monitoring unit, a fish hook in his head and right foot, sensors in every orifice. I selfishly thought "damn it, I raised all that money so my kids could be spared."
A plaque on the top of the unit cradling my son caught my eye: