OT EAFD BBQ

Hi everyone. Even though I try to read the wreck almost every day, I haven't posted in almost a year. Nothing worthwhile to post as the queries I'm competent to answer seem to have good answers and replies before I get to them. So I've been happy to sit in the back and just watch over what's been going on. Until this weekend, and then this is off topic!
Twenty years ago my fire department (yes, I used the possessive because I've poured out my heart and have had it rejuvenated in the activities of the East Andover Fire Department) decided to raffle a canoe at a summer barbecue and for twenty years we've sold tickets, peeled potatoes, cooked chicken and begged for our wives, mothers and neighboring womenfolk to bake pies. Its a lot of effort, but also a lot of fun and the good will we generate in our community is worth every bit of the work we put into it. As a fund raiser its worth every bit of the good will we generate!
Each year two families with summer properties near the fire station hold family reunions on the weekend of the barbecue and they each bring 30 - 50 family members. Their strong support each year has played a significant part in our success and someone from each family has won a canoe at some point over the years. (Of course with the number of raffle tickets they've bought they've paid for six canoes apiece!)
Well Saturday the barbecue went off without a hitch and at 7:00 PM we were holding the drawing. The horse shoe playing stops. The beer drinking near the fire pit calms down so they can hear, and most people gather round. The drum is rotating, stirring up the tickets and I look to the audience for a child to pull the ticket so that everyone is aware the drawing is on the up and up. (My daughter won last year) A young girl is looking excited and I don't recognize her which is odd because after twenty years I know almost everyone, or at least their parents. I ask if she would like to draw a ticket and she jumps and bounces and comes forward. We introduce ourselves and her name is Claire. Her dad yells out that if he doesn't win she's walking home three states over and Claire's smile just gets bigger and bigger. Claire pulls the ticket and reads aloud in a strong voice the winner's name and address. I shake her hand and thank her for doing a great job.
Inside a few minutes later Claire's uncle comes up to me and shakes my hand and is profusely thanking me for making his and his whole families weekend. I don't understand what he means, they've always enjoyed the barbecue and we appreciate his and his families support. "No, no" he says, "Claire has cancer and is right on the bubble, we don't know whether she'll make it or not. This is the first year that she has been well enough to attend the weekend reunion and come to your barbecue, and you picked her. You just made her feel special." Now I've got tears in my eyes, just like watching a sappy TV movie.
I move on and am cleaning up when there's a tug at my shirt. I look down and Claire with a grin, says thank you for picking her to draw the ticket. I reached down and hugged her. I held on long enough so I could wipe my eyes dry. Then she ran out of the station with that big smile to played with her cousins.
So now I have the answer to why do volunteer firemen respond to our pagers day after day, year after year, from the mundane, to the serious, to the tragic. We do it for the way we feel when someone like Claire says thank you.
And I also have the answer to why we turn to woodworking or other hobbies. It's for when they don't or they can't.
Ed Becker
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
you got me Ed... *snif* There are, indeed, tears in my eyes. A wonderful story.
david
--
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have
of it.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ed Becker wrote:

Thank you Ed. It had to be a terrific experience!
Scott
--
An unkind remark is like a killing frost. No matter how much it warms
up later, the damage remains.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ed, I'm not a volunteer, but I feel the same way you do.
I get a lot of personal reward out of doing the job. I work in a city with an ungodly number of indigent and disabled and I go in their homes every day. I spend quite a bit of time going back to some of these folks homes in my off time and doing repairs on their houses and building wheelchair ramps for those who need them. The city doesn't pay me enough to be able to afford this by my lonesome, but I have a deal with a mom and pop hardware and lumber store here that supplies me with materials. All I have to do in return is build shelves and displays for them and do repairs to their building. (That was their deal, but they usually don't call me on it)
If it weren't for my job I wouldn't come into contact with any of these folks. It's amazing the feeling you get form helping someone who can't help themselves. You don't even have to have a thank you from them....the looks on some of their faces is plenty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.