The subject of this blog arose from a letter I've been meaning to write to CADS (Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing). It's been on my to do list for quite some time, just something I haven't gotten around to doing. Rather than write a letter to CADS, I’ve decided to write about the issue for my first blog.
Giving comes in many different forms, the most common and convenient form is financial which is the purpose of my website. Not to downplay or overlook the importance of financial giving, but a donation of $20, $50 or even $100 for most of us is inconsequential to our pocketbook. However donating our time is much more difficult given the demands of work and family.
Last year I was introduced to the idea of skiing again which seemed ludicrous to me at the time until someone explained CADS. CADS is a completely volunteer organization that allows people with all kinds of disabilities to ski. I wasn't sure what to expect going to my first lesson but when I arrived I was awestruck by the amount of people involved and the organized chaos that surrounded me. The disabled skiers ranged from spinal cord injuries to young children with cerebral palsy. In many instances there were two volunteers assigned to each skier. Lessons took place on Friday evenings meaning all of these volunteers sacrificed their Friday nights in order to help out with this very noble cause.
Although I spent more of my time learning how to fall than skiing, the experience was phenomenal. It had been close to 10 years since I had participated or even thought of participating in physical sporting activities. Actually being able to ski again brought such a rush of excitement and joy to me. JOY is the best description of the feelings that I encountered and it was written on the faces of all the skiers, especially the children. There are very few experiences outside of my children that have been able to create this type of elation in me. Joy was the reward for all volunteers knowing they had created so much happiness for others who typically would not have the opportunity to experience this type of JOY.
I think this is the art of giving because it is based on feelings of joy rather than obligation, pity, sympathy or the simple need for help. Thank you to all CADS volunteers across the country and to everyone who donates their time with such vigor and love. YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!