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The Gift of Giving

I would like to share with you a wonderful experience my family encountered recently. It gets to the core of what I believe is one of our greatest gift as people, and that is the gift of giving. If you have given your time or talent to another person or cause you know exactly what I am talking about. It is the most wonderful feeling you can ever have. I love the fact that I can go out and speak to children and adults about ALS, but more importantly try to inspire them to go out and make a difference in the life of another. There is an old saying “it is better to give than to receive”, for many it is also easier to give than to receive. It is much easier for Susan and me to give than to receive what we are getting used to it. I have so many people that want to help my family during this time. In fact, they get frustrated if they haven’t heard from me for a while. But the reality is that we need help and we will need more help as time goes on, and just as I feel great helping others, they feel just as great helping me or my family.
What is even more impactful is if it comes from someone you don’t even know. This took place for us on Saturday. I had met a wonderful family at the Evening of Hope ALS Benefit in March. As many people know, I and my kids love to play and watch hockey. This message got to a beautiful individual named Hali who is dating a professional hockey player named Drew Stafford. She informed me that she told Drew my story and he offered meet my kids and even skate with them when he came through town. That is that exactly what he did. He rented a sheet of ice and allowed my three sons to bring some friends and skated with them for an hour. The excitement in my house leading up to that day was awesome. We all watched many highlights of Drew on the Internet, bought Buffalo Sabre pennants, and thought of many questions to ask him if there was a chance. I have been lucky enough to have met some professional athletes and other celebrity figures but none can compare to Drew Stafford. He wasn’t here because he had to be he was there because he wanted to be. I told him it was like meeting a rock star to the kids (and even to me although I didn’t admit that to him.) He spent an hour on the ice skating, running a few drills, and partaking in a scrimmage. He could have left after that but he sat in the locker room and answered questions, signed pennants and hockey pucks, and took out three of his personal game hockey sticks that he signed for my three boys. The impact he made on those who were present are still felt today and that was the result of the gift of giving.
We all have this gift inside of us but not all of us do it or use it which is a shame. You can call it “random acts of kindness” or” pay it forward”, but I would implore you to make a difference in another person’s life. You don’t have to be a professional athlete. There are countless ways to give of yourself in your own community and many causes that need help. I know if a miracle happened and I was cured, I would continue to do what I’m doing today in some way to make a difference in the lives of others and make this world a better place.

3 responses to “The Gift of Giving

  1. cheryl lange ⋅

    Jimbo – your words are also a wonderful gift! They serve as a reminder to all of us to live our lives and always give more than we receive. Thank you for your continued gift of words – they serve as a great source of strength for all of us facing life’s journey!

  2. Katie Brick ⋅

    What a great story Jim. What Drew did was above and beyond for sure…you writing about it just took it one step further.

  3. Carrera ⋅

    Hey Jim,
    You are amazing and have reminded me to keep a positive attitude even when skies are grey. I asked my mom to talk to you about an interview but I guess she didn’t pass it on :/ In any case, my speech is on either Wednesday or Thursday. I hope that I can get people to be as passionate about helping and giving as I am. I hope to see you soon and let you know how it goes.
    Carrera (Katrina’s Daughter)

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