Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I really fell in love with writing a long time ago but I realized the power of words back with I was president of the local Telephone Pioneers for Riverchase (the place where I have worked since the early 80's).
It was my job to raise money and convince others to do volunteer work for the needy. There are a lot of good people who work for the phone company and many do not need coaxing, but sometimes when the need is great, you had to get creative.
I chose my causes carefully but when I came across a special need, I would invest time to compose a touching appeal. The first time I tried this approach was with a child dying of cancer who had a special need. I choked up and I typed the words but they flowed effortlessly. Our administrative provided me with a distribution list of everyone in our building. At that time it was several thousand people. I was not sure how it would be received but I hoped people would take it in the spirit I intended.
I was unprepared for the result. About ten minutes after I hit the send button on the email, I was walking down to the restroom and a guy stopped me in the hall, pulled out his wallet and gave me a twenty-dollar bill. This is for that kid he said. Before I left that afternoon, two women stopped by my desk and wrote me checks for forty dollars each.
The next morning my mailbox was full. I don't recall the exact figure, but in a mater of days, we had collected over a thousand dollars for the child.
One of our projects was Camp Smile-a-Mile which was a camp for terminally ill children. A local merchant donated a really nice racing go-cart to raffle off to raise money for the project. The tickets were $5 each. My friend Tom, Ken and several of the other guys arrived to work early and stood out front of the building selling chances on the go-cart. They were making money hand over fist. One woman who was an executive with the phone company came blowing by and Tom asked her if she would buy a ticket - I'm late she barked, I don't have time for this!!! Tom simply said, "I understand lady and I'm sure the dying kids who won't get a chance to go to Camp Smile-a-Mile won't hold it against you."
The woman stormed on by, but there was something in Tom's words that hit home because she turned around, came back outside and gave Tom a $100. "If I'm late, they can just wait," she said smiling as she turned and walked back inside.

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