Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anonymous Giving

As I sit here sipping a glass of Okanagan Merlot, I'm reflecting on my good fortune of being involved with a well known organization here in our area - "Santa's Anonymous".  This charity has been in operation for more than 50 years and its objective is to make sure deserving children receive a Christmas gift.  And we're talking about 25,000 children in our city this year.

Just this past weekend, thousands of citizens showed up at "Santa's" headquarters to participate in the delivery of these 25,000 gifts in a two day, Saturday/Sunday blitz.  The drivers, from every every corner of the province made 1,500 deliveries and hundreds of porters carried, pulled or dragged sleighs of parcels to the vehicles.

For someone like me who has a particular interest in cycling, it was exciting to see brand new bicycles being donated to this excellent cause. On behalf of the charity my wife and I attended a Christmas party held by A and B Rail Services a couple of weeks ago where a table had been set up for us to accept gifts and cash donations as employees entered the dining hall to enjoy the party.  We were overwhelmed by the generosity of these fine people and our table was soon overflowing with Tonka trucks, Easy Bake ovens, stuffed toys, dolls, building blocks, toy cars, books and other fun gifts.  As we thanked a generous donor, I could see coming down the carpeted hallway, a well-groomed couple coming toward our spot.  The lady's arms were laden with packages and the gentleman was wheeling a brand-spanking new boys bike toward our donation table.  I could feel my eyes misting up at the benevolence of this young couple who would remain anonymous. 

I was choked up imagining the young boy coming downstairs on Chrismas morning, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and having to rub them again in disbelief that Santa had brought him a new bike!  And what a bike.  Not just any kind of bike!  Shiny, reflective chrome.  Sparkling spokes.  Black tires with the hundreds of rubber nubbies poking out.  Big wide pedals.  Cool handgrips.  A nice seat at just the right height.  "Can I ride it! Can I ride it!  Pleeeease!"

You know it and I know it.  The child will remember this gift all his life.  In fact, over the weekend, I overheard a middle-aged driver telling one of the porters who was carrying this very bike to be delivered that he couldn't count the number of Christmases that the only presents he had received were from Santa's Anonymous.  And isn't that what Christmas is all about?  Giving to others so that they may give to someone else?  Renewing faith in this world of ours.

On that note, I wish all you devoted readers, whatever your circumstances,  and beliefs,a very Merry Christmas - may there be a bike under your tree or the tree of someone you love.

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