Have you ever looked back and thought about the event that cemented the road to your future? We are couple of weeks before Christmas so I would like to tell you a personal story.
Many years ago I learned that giving of your time and effort brings satisfaction and a moment of reflection when the real impact is felt.
This story goes back to the fall of nineteen fifty-four. I was about eight years old. At that time there was a Tuberculosis epidemic and the organization that took the lead was called The March of Dimes. I heard Bob Hall the local announcer for news and sports talk about it on CKOV Radio. I remember asking my mother if I could raise money in our neighborhood a part of Winfield, now part of Lake Country.
She said yes and we set about sealing up a shoebox and I set out door to door with a note from my mother In case I needed an introduction and an adult explanation of what I was doing.
I had the idea I could raise at least fifty dollars, a lot of money back then. I can still feel my frozen fingers, and nose when I think about it. There were other benefits I learned in addition to collecting money.
I did not understand why the general store owner in Woodsdale gave me so much money thirty dollars. My father, later told me the man was a real hero. He had escaped from Poland when WWII started and became a fighter pilot for Britain. He had seen a lot of human misery. When he talked to my mother and understood what I was doing he gave from his generous heart.
A friend of my fathers, Myles, gave me twenty dollars after a good round of teasing. Every time he saw me he would say, “Well I’ll be dammed if it isn’t little Freddy”.
He was loud and jolly but at times he was intimidating in the mind of an eight year old. I later learned he was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion in Europe. He was from Ireland. I found out about a lot of interesting people on my cold journey over a two week period in late November and early December. This was to me interesting but it was not the end. In fact the end was the beginning.
See I raised about two hundred dollars and was invited into the CKOV Control room to meet the announcer Bob Hall. From the instant I walked in to the control room, in a single defining moment I wanted to be a radio announcer. In the mid nineteen sixties I achieved my goal breaking into radio before the days of broadcast schools. I made the airwaves in Alberta and the Okanagan.
The full circle came one afternoon twenty some years later when I stepped into the CKOV control room to begin my first show at the station. The room I first set foot in when I was eight. That moment of reflection had its impact on me personally as I thought about that little shoebox I packed around in the dark. It led me full circle in my career choice at the time.
Now I’m not saying you will fulfill your utmost dream by being a volunteer. You will feel the sensation of heartfelt satisfaction though, and perhaps you will start someone you helped on their journey to success. Thinking back I owe a lot to that little shoebox and the March Of Dimes volunteer journey.