Friday, December 30, 2005

In Which I Buy Coffee for Sick Kids

I made a promise to the Magazine Man. He sent me some crap, (although I don't think it is crap,) due to my winning bid in his Giveaway of Crap. My winning bid was not to buy coffee for sick kids as he said in one sleep deprived entry, but to start saving my coffee money and buy books for the kids at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. I told him I wanted to do this closer to Christmas as a gift to the kids that have to stay in the hospital over the Holiday. It is closer to Christmas than when I said that, but if we were playing by Price Is Right rules, I have gone over, (for the post that is, as the task itself was completed before Sunday.)

The week leading up to Christmas is usually a busy week for me. Like a lot of men, I don't believe that any Christmas shopping needs to be done before December 20. Mix that with the fact that the week was pretty much full to begin with and I was quickly running out of time. Monday there was a dinner outing with Team 188, (that is the podmates plus Harrison and the co-op,) Tuesday was my regular curling night, Wednesday was rehearsal, Thursday was the board meeting that was pushed to this week from the week before... You see? I had two days to shop for family and friends and complete my mission. (I don't know when it became a mission. Probably the tight timelines.) My delaying actually worked to my benefit however as my Sis and BiL were now in town. My Sis works with kids so she knows all about what is out there in the way of books and she also knows how to get the biggest bang for the buck at the bookstore.

The bucks I had were from several sources. As I had originally planned, I started saving part of my coffee money each week. I couldn't save it all or I wouldn't be in any state to do...well just about anything. I also received some help from some people at work. Finally, I collected my change. See, I am one of those people that collects all his change at the end of every day and after every two months or so, I can buy something. This is how I usually finance the new PlayStation games (nerd.) This time I held out and rolled my change for books.

With money in hand and my Sis at my side, I made a trip to the local Chapters. With her help, I was able to get nearly FORTY books for all ages of kid and many different interests. Stupid me didn't have the camera with me when I did all this but my Sis will vouch for me and I have the receipts.

I then dropped my Sis off and made the trip to downtown TO where the hospital is located. At first I thought that I would go in and visit one of the nursing stations and let them hand out books or ask someone where I should take them and go there myself. As I pulled into the underground parking however, I saw something that choked me up. There was a family, Mum, Dad, and two little ones, walking along, Dad carrying the youngest, all wearing Santa hats, but all looking a little sad. I don't like hospitals at the best of times, but when I saw this family and thought of all the little ones upstairs that wouldn't get to run downstairs and see that Santa had filled their stocking, eaten their cookies, and packed more presents under the tree than should possibly fit, I nearly broke down. I parked my car and took the elevator up to the main floor. I saw an information booth with some security guys behind it and made my way there. All I could squeak out was, "I have some books," as I lifted the bags up to the counter. The one guard smiled and said, "we can take those for you," and then he placed my bags with countless other toys, stuffed animals, and books that had already been donated. This made me feel a little better that these kids wouldn't be forgotten this Christmas, but still sad that there were so many here that needed to be remembered.

Hopefully this year we'll remember to say a prayer for those that can't celebrate the Holiday like the rest of us. Thanks for the inspiration MM.

All for now,


Blogger Magazine Man said...

Well done, and well worth waiting for (actually doesn't seem like it's been a long wait. Feels like the giveaway was just a few days ago).

Thank YOU for taking some carp, er, crap off my hands during the giveaway. More importantly, thanks for following through on your bid. Ya done good!

12/30/2005 9:26 PM  

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