For 14 years now I’ve been obsessed with a single thought. It’s a question really. A question I’ve asked a million times. And it took flying all the way to Africa to even realize it was bothering me. The question is – Why is a charitable donation so disengaging? There are other words I could
I’m up north in the Muskoka’s spending a lovely week with my parents on the lake. This has always been a place that I look forward to visiting in the summer. Since I was in diapers I’ve come up here for summer holidays and a much needed change of pace and scenery. Naturally, I included a small stack of toonies in my luggage to give away to some of the people I meet up here.
My first attempt to give away a toonie was in a small country town on the lake, called Dorset. After pulling in my wife took over grocery duties and I took my son on a quick mission to find someone I could give my toonie to. But the locals were having none of it. I went 0 for 2 with some mothers at the park while my son was going up and down the slide. They said they liked the idea but didn’t want to be a part of it. I hung around and continued chatting with them to try to show that I was fairly normal but they didn’t change their minds. There was no way they were taking my toonie. I then looked for a cashier at my favorite store in town, but lines were too busy and I didn’t want to upset any shoppers. So I approached what has typically been an easier give – a guy about my age with a son of his own and who even looked a little like me. I didn’t even get the full sentence out before he interrupted and said, ‘sorry man, not interested’. It was almost like I was part of a long line of strangers randomly offering him $2 and he about had enough of it. I was sure he didn’t get it, so I tried explaining again and got the same cool answer. This town has no need for toonies.
I was getting skeptical that I was going to be able to give it away before leaving. I’ve had people say no before, but never this many in a row.
My last chance before returning to the forest was at the Shell gas station on the way out of town. I pulled up and hoped for the best. And that’s when I met Ashlee. She came out and offered to pump the gas. There was some small chat and then I popped the question with toonie in hand. She didn’t even flinch. She smiled and said, ‘sure – I’ll be part of this’. I couldn’t have been happier. I handed it over and talked about the lack of luck I had in town. She seemed as surprised as me. ‘Why wouldn’t anyone want to take this?’ was her response. I took my picture with her and thanked her for not thinking I was crazy.
Thank you Ashlee for taking part and for coming to my rescue. Looks like Shell has more than just V Power gasoline and Airmiles… they also have awesome people like Ashlee.