Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Weeks before Christmas, due to circumstances beyond her control, my wife was fired from her job as resident manager of the townhouse complex where we lived. Our residence was part the pay for of my wife’s job, and suddenly we had three weeks to find another place to live. This would be a challenge at the best of times, but right before Christmas, it seemed near-impossible.
Reasonably priced rental accommodations are few and far between in Calgary, especially considering we have a large family. We decided to see if we could qualify for a mortgage and try to find something for sale in our area of the city. But we had little savings, and no family in a position to help us with money. The down payment was going to be our biggest hurdle.
I have played the violin since the age of six, and have moved up in instrument quality over the years. About 12 years ago, with the generous assistance of my father, who passed away shortly thereafter, I was able to purchase a very fine violin. This violin means a great deal to me for many reasons, but I was willing to part with it to provide us with the much-needed cash for the down payment.
My wife mentioned our plight to a close friend who knew what my violin meant to me, and she told my wife not to let me sell it, that she had an idea of how to help us. We found out that this friend of ours had called several people that she knew; some knew us, some did not. She shared our situation with them, and was able to raise enough money that I did not have to sell my violin, and we got the money we need for the down payment.
My wife was in tears when she called me at work and read the letter that accompanied the bag of cash our friend brought over. In the letter she said that the only conditions of our receiving this money was that it was a gift, and that all the givers must remain anonymous, including her. She included comments of some of the people that had donated money to our cause. One person told of how they felt like they were walking on a cloud after being given the opportunity to give anonymously. Another said that this made for a wonderful Christmas, to be able to help someone in need. Our friend wrote that this would be a special Christmas for her as well, as she would listen to my violin as I played at various Christmas events to come.
This was a Christmas to tell our grandchildren about. As I played my violin for them, my wife told them about how a small group of people made it possible for us to have a home for Christmas. The tears in our eyes tell how we remember the value of friends, and the generosity of heroes.