Paying it Forward

In a season when excess and materialism can overwhelm the headlines it’s a wonderful moment when we can stop and share an inspiring story – one in which selfless generosity and unconditional gifting features. This story ran in December 17th’s Vancouver Sun. 

We wish you a holiday season filled with utmost delight and kindness. 

Paying it forward 30 years later brings instant joy to local family


SCENE & HEARD: This email arrived out of the blue in late October and the words have not been edited or altered in order to share the full impact of the message:

Dear Mr. Douglas:

When I was a boy, Maclean’s magazine did a story on the challenges of raising a family on welfare. I believe it was called Canada’s Forgotten Poor. This article was about my family. The early 1980s were not kind to most people and our family was no exception.

“The details are a little foggy after 30 years, but as I understand it, you contacted my mother after reading the article and informed her that we were being taken to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Pacific Coliseum in a limousine! Truly, I couldn’t believe it until it happened.

“It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I rode in another limousine and then remembered what had been done for my family.

“Just last week, at Rogers Arena, I saw a Harlem Globetrotters poster in the elevator and it hit me like a brick. Although our financial situation didn’t change that day 30 years ago, I feel my well-being did.

“At 14 years old, you don’t realize what positive experiences do to help mould a young man’s mind. Later in life it became abundantly clear. Thirty years have come and gone and I feel compelled to return that gift.

“I would like to donate Canucks tickets and limousine service to and from Rogers Arena for a family that needs a positive experience. I want to reach out to a family like mine that would benefit from the experience, as I did. I am grateful to be in the position in my life now that I can do this.”

It was signed: Chad Joe, President, Westcoast Mining Contractors Ltd.

It turns out that Mr. Joe, a longtime Canucks season ticket holder, worked his way through the ranks of the trucking and heavy hauling company that he now owns on the Sunshine Coast.

And because of his generosity, Coquitlam single mom Alison Goulding, widowed in 2006, will be in an Elite Limousine next Friday afternoon with four wide-eyed youngsters heading to the Canucks-Calgary NHL game at Rogers Arena.

“The excitement is definitely building in our house,” Alison says.

“Brandon (7) gives me daily countdowns. He is bringing his best friend and classmate Aiden. My daughter Brooke (14) is bringing Arden, whom she’s known since they were in Hastings Daycare together.

“The hockey game is one thing … the ride in the limousine is quite another.

“The boys are excited about seeing the Canucks and I think the girls are just as thrilled with travelling by limousine. This has made it a wonderful Christmas for all of us.”

Chad Joe passed along a random act of kindness, proving the old adage: What goes around, comes around.


© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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