The Beats go on


Editor’s note: Between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31, The Chatham Voice is proud to share the 10 Stories of Giving. Each day, we follow a different story of Chatham-Kent giving, courtesy of The Gift. To read others, click here.

Loree Bailey and Rick Bernard, Wallaceburg Community Captains for The Gift, are shown during a Gift CK Facebook Live event.

“Anna” purchases gifts for younger kids for to leave out for pickup by The Gift volunteers.

But she’s not done. Searching for a pair of Beats headphones for her son, she finds out that they are going on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart. But the nearest location that will carry the headphones is Corunna. So, she drives to Corunna to be at the store before it opens, and she buys one of the three pairs the store has; she has her gift for her son and gets back in her car.

But something tugs at her. She says, “It completely took me over.”

Something tells her that she needs to go back inside and buy another pair of beats for The Gift.

She pauses.

“That will really defeat the purpose of the money saving,” she ponders. “I couldn’t think of the reason I wanted to go back in and buy them; I just felt compelled.”

Finally, after the mental debate, she decides to listen to the calling and go back into the store and get another pair.

Driving back from Corunna, Anna starts to think of how everyone shops for younger kids because of the reasons she did, but we don’t often think of the older ones because they are harder to buy for and are typically more expensive.

She puts the beats on her doorstep. Her son says “What? You are putting Beats out there?” He doesn’t know he has a pair on the way.

Meanwhile, there are communication issues between the Salvation Army and the Wallaceburg community captains for The Gift about storage and disbursement of gifts before they arrive.

The Salvation Army summits a Christmas wish list for certain families. On top of one boy’s list is a set of headphones.

Wallaceburg Gift captains Rick Bernard and Loree Bailey are fearful donations for The Gift in the community may not be all that great. That fear is magnified when early volunteers returned from pickup day shortly after they left at noon.

Rick and Loree head out to do their route, worried.

Put while out gathering donations, Rick spots the pair of Beats headphones on a doorstep.

“Brand spanking new in the box,” he thinks to himself, and now believes the day is going to be OK.

The pair of captains return to the drop off depot and they are floored. Vehicle after vehicle is loaded with gifts.

Rick and Loree both were wondering what they were ever scared of.

Rick learns from Loree back at the Wallaceburg Gift warehouse that a boy had put headphones on his wish list.

“He is getting some headphones all right,” Rick thinks to himself.

Rick doesn’t learn until a few days later that it was Salvation Army that had gotten that Christmas list. It was a lesson for Rick from the headphones. It was a moment of realization that they were all on the same team, they all wanted the same thing and it takes everyone.

They wouldn’t have found the perfect child for those Beats had it not been for the work and trust built from Salvation Army with that family. The boy wouldn’t have got the Beats if not for Rick, Loree and the rest of the community’s efforts.

Rick shares his favorite story from the whole experience live on The Gift CK Facebook page. One of the live viewers is Anna herself.

Anna says her heart pounded right out of her chest.

“What are the odds I happened to be watching this video?”

She feels both an instant connection to Rick and the young boy.

A very private person, she feels she has to reach out to Rick.

“Rick, when once I saw you on that video saying that boy had headphones on his wish list, then I knew for sure, to always follow my heart.”

“Thinking of that moment of truth, when Anna was in her car, will always remind me to look inside.” – Steve Desjardin, Lally Auto Group







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