November 4, 2009

Pay it Forward

maryBy Mary Schricker, SRES
Realtor – Ruhl&Ruhl Real Estate

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step‚”
– Confucius

We are fortunate to live in such a charitable community. This time of year it begins with the Hunger Drive. I remember being impressed during my years of teaching at the tireless efforts of students who brought in the record breaking volumes of food each year. Their hard work insured that many local families could put food on the table in otherwise challenging times.

The service clubs I now belong to raise money to support various projects for those less fortunate. Some are aimed at helping to eradicate disease, some help screen vision for children whose families cannot afford checkups. Others expose young people to opportunities and environments they otherwise would not experience.

Offices and businesses across the Quad Cities contribute thousands of dollars in gifts, toys, and food baskets to individuals and families so they too can experience the joy of the season. Even in our Ruhl&Ruhl offices, we raise thousands of dollars each holiday season for families who are faced with hard times. Last year over 600 seniors were served both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at CASI by community groups who truly care.

Christmas presents were collected and distributed to approximately 2000 seniors through the “Be a Santa to A Senior” program. Every year thousands of Quad Citians are the recipients of these kind gestures. But no matter how much we do there is still more to be done; furthermore I am convinced we do not fully understand the impact our efforts might be having on individuals. A thank-you letter written last year by an appreciative senior certainly brings awareness to the importance of our mission.

Excerpts from the letter are as follows:

Dear Friends,
I want to thank-you for the gifts left at my door by a lady named Kate who signed the Christmas card. I had business to care for, otherwise I would have been home. The Lord has been good to me, helping me with things like this‚ otherwise I stay home. I appreciated your monthly visits. Perhaps you are the same lady as I can’t remember names anymore at 88 years old and going on 89. She has been my only visitor‚ so appreciated her taking the time to stop. I want to thank you for the gifts, the only ones, and they are very useful. It means a lot to be remembered.”

After reading this letter, a group of caring individuals, along with generous media and corporate sponsors decided that more needed to be done … So dig out your favorite holiday clothes, dust off your hats, and join us at the Holiday Hat Bash. We are raising money to make sure that every senior celebrates the holidays this year. The money that is raised will buy gifts and food baskets for our seniors. You are invited to a holiday party with a purpose!! With wine and beer tasting, appetizers, music, and a raffle, I guarantee this is going to be fun! A suggested donation of $15 (larger donations are encouraged) is a tax donation to CASI. 100% of the proceeds will be split between CASI for food baskets and Home Instead for the “Be a Santa to a senior program.” Our Quad City seniors have given much to us; it’s our turn to give back. Help us make 2009 a memorable holiday season for each and every one of them.