Pay it forward
There is so much good in the Exploits Valley, people helping people, showing generosity, and people just being plain nice.
Picture yourself in a shop with your fiancé and young son. An elderly gentlemen whom you meet in the hallway casually jokes with you while you are waiting for your family to catch up. He comments to your partner and when he notices your little boy, his face brightens. He said "Well, there's the man," calls him cute and reaches in his pocket and pulls out a Toonie. He hands the Toonie to your son, who in turn tells the man "thank you." The man says, "Here, go buy yourself some candy..."
This happened to my family Wednesday evening at a local shop in Grand Falls-Windsor. I was ecstatic. I didn't realize this type of generosity still took place. I know it happened to me all the time when I was little, but I grew up in St. Anthony, so the people who would hand me money, or candy, knew me or my family.
The sweet gesture here, on the other hand, was different. We didn't know this man. He wasn't a relative, a friend, or a relative of a friend. My fiancé actually asked me after who he was.
He was just a generous man who likes children.
I am sure there are a number of others throughout the community like this. There are generous people helping those around them, and people helping those from many seas away.
There are people like Grand Falls-Windsor native Maurice Tuck, who last year spent seven months outside the country, in three different counties.
"They say you can't out give God, but it's some fun trying," Mr. Tuck said in a recent interview with the Advertiser.
"God loves me to pieces, that I know. He loves them to pieces, this I know. He asks me to go show others that He loves them."
His sister Arlene Elliott, her husband Barry and several others from the area who make up the local Loads of Love committee, raised $21,000 at their seventh annual McJoyful moose burger and bake sale, which helped 1,400 Ukrainian orphans be treated with McDonald's for Christmas and vitamins for a whole year.
The Special Forces Team, made up of five people from Grand Falls-Windsor among others from this province are preparing to go to Africa on a mission to uplift the spirits of the mothers there. They are in the process of fundraising for the trip.
Those are just a couple examples of the many wonderful people in this area.
Without the help of the people of this valley, many of these caring acts would not take place. It takes someone to take charge and plan, but it takes everyone giving for those plans to come to fruition.
Everyone who donated in any way can say "I helped."
Whether buying something at a sale of some sort, donating to the cause, dropping money in a kettle, or donating a dollar for a coffee at McDonald's, we can feel great about ourselves in knowing we are doing something to make a difference.
And it doesn't have to be monetary. It could be helping out a neighbour by shoveling them out when they are buried in snow, or helping the fire department and Town, yourself and your neighbours by clearing snow away from fire hydrants.
It could be as simple as opening a door for someone at a grocery store, or letting someone step in front of you in a line-up.
It is acts like those, and the simple act of giving a child a Toonie, that gives us hope for the future and in knowing our children will grow up in a loving and caring world.