I serve as the elected Public Relations Officer for a small riding club, the NBS Riders, based in Port Colborne Ontario. Like many similar clubs we raise funds each year, and use those funds to benefit our communities. 2020 has of course been a lean year for fundraising events. Despite that we raised a record amount through our efforts this year. The cause we chose to support? Education. With school closures, parental layoffs, economic recession and all, it’s been a hard and stressful few months for everyone. We thought we could put smiles on a few young faces by going holiday shopping.
We ramped it up a little, of course.
We chose two grade schools, and liaised with them to get student head counts and a breakdown of how many boys and girls in each grade. Armed with this info we made a shopping list. And set about buying every child in those two schools one present each for the holidays. Three hundred and sixty one of them. I won’t name the schools – if word got to the kids it would spoil the surprise so shhh – but a few that may otherwise be facing a bleak winter might feel warmed for a few minutes by the holiday spirit.
Shopping for 361 kids is quite a logistical challenge. We’re up to it. We called in five of our best organizational resources on November 28th. Six hours and seven carts later, the task was done. Almost. I dislike shopping with a passion. After six hours I was climbing the walls and everyone else was tired. I kept spirits high by nominating myself Morale Officer and becoming the class clown, not much of a stretch for me.
We have arranged to drop these gifts at the schools, where they will sit for a few days to sanitize before being wrapped for distribution by the already hard working staff and teachers. Our work, running events to raise funds and organizing shopping is the easy bit. Over to you, educators. Respect.
It is a good feeling to see all that hard work and dedication pay off. At the end of the day, our reward is to play Santa for the day. As good feelings go, that’s hard to beat. We have a good team that pulls together to get things done. When the chips are down, that’s how we succeed.
We are not the little team that could: We are the little team that did.
As Public Relations Officer I recorded proceedings so we could share this feel-good moment with our friends and extended families in the various riding communities. Days like this remind us all that even in difficult times, good people can rise to occasions and overcome challenges to get things done.
The video I put together here shows five minutes of our long shopping adventure. Enjoy.
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