My Dad, Wrapping Paper and a Pair of Ladies Slippers

My First Lesson in the Importance of “Giving” started my Journey to Home Hospice Association

Thanks to a young Canadian envelope salesman named William McCartney who put his entrepreneurial vision to the test in 1928, I can remember very clearly the first story I heard, about what joy the concept of giving can truly bring.

As a school boy my dad had a great fondness for most of his teachers but in grade seven he gained a level of respect that went beyond a heartfelt good morning when the bell rang. My dad was devastated, finding himself grieving for the first time in his life, when his teacher died suddenly.

Over the summer months he thought a great deal about his teacher and the family he left behind. A spark of an idea evolved into a project that took up the balance of the summer and most of his after school time come fall.

On his bicycle and all over the neighborhood my dad sold wrapping paper. His goal was to earn enough money to purchase Christmas gifts for each of his teacher’s three children. When he was ready to make his purchases he visited the man’s widow, at home, to find out what the children may be hoping for under the tree.

My grandmother took him shopping so he could fulfill the wish list and much to my dad’s surprise he had money left over from his efforts. My grandmother asked him what he might like to do with this balance expecting, the answer to have something to do with a well-deserved “thank you gift from himself to himself”. Much to her surprise he asked to be taken to the shoe department at Eaton’s where he picked out a pair of slippers that he thought his teacher’s wife might like.

Always happy to help her son in every endeavor my grandmother proudly gave my dad a roll of the wrapping paper he sold to her, so he was able to complete his mission and present four gifts ready to be put under the tree.

"Teaching our children and reminding ourselves what the true spirit of this holiday season is about is never time wasted. What we all have in common is an appreciation of kindness and compassion; all the religions have this. We all lean towards love. " Richard Gere

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