Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Beat of a Generous Heart

One of my favourite things in life is meeting people who use their talents and passions to give to others. It inspires me to see people who notice others and actively look for ways to help out and encourage as many people as they can; just witnessing these random acts of kindness motivates me to do more, to be better.

I have been blessed many times by people who have gone above and beyond. I have received several cups of coffeejuice, paid for by a generous soul in line ahead of me. We've been blessed with meals, clothes for our kids and much needed household items by friends and strangers who have randomly and generously dropped these things off on our doorstep. And recently a friend gifted to me a free haircut so I wouldn't have to worry about my hair falling out in long chunks.

All of these things have been amazing, timely gifts that have filled a need and each time we have been blessed we have looked for a way to pay it forward, pass on our blessing to someone else. Giving to others can become addicting. The sense of goodness and peace that fills your heart when you know that you have helped someone else out is intoxicating; there's nothing like it!

This week an unbelievably kind stranger blessed Dude in a way that I could never have imagined and I can't wait to find a way to pay this whopper forward!

Dude loves science, Lego and Harry Potter. Dude also loves music. He is constantly singing, dancing or 'air drumming'; its his way to unwind, decompress from a stressful day and to celebrate a great day. Before our move he was taking drum and bagpipe lessons but since our move we've been unable to work out a way to continue the lessons. Mr. Awesome and I have talked a lot recently about finding something to boost Dude out of the slump he's been in since my diagnosis and with his birthday being this week I took to Kijiji to do a little research.

Dude has wanted a drum kit for years but those things can be really expensive so we've never been able to get one for him. On Sunday night I logged on to the computer and clicked over to Kijiji to see what price range we'd be looking at for a used kit. I didn't really have a hope of getting one for Dude for his birthday; I was just fantasy shopping but when I searched 'drum kit' the first ad that popped up was for a vintage refurbished kit that some guy wanted to give away.

It seemed too good to be true but there it was. Apparently the ad poster had refurbished a kit and was looking to give it away to a kid who really wanted to learn how to play but whose family couldn't necessarily afford to buy a kit. I immediately contacted the poster with the unbelievable tale of what our life has been for the last six months. I also told the guy that regardless of whether he chose Dude or not that I thought that this was an amazing thing he was doing.

The first thing the next morning, Dude's 12th birthday, Ryan, the ad poster, called me to say that he wanted to give the kit to Dude! I totally could not believe it and I started rambling and blubbering on the phone but somehow I was coherent enough to arrange to meet the next day so we could pick up the kit. That night, when we told Dude that a very generous stranger was making one of his wishes come true he totally could not believe it. In fact, he said, "Seriously? Is this for real?" at least a dozen times throughout the evening.

The next morning, when we met Ryan and got to talking to him we were blown away by his open heart and generous nature. Ryan runs a music school and is involved with an organization that gives Bibles away to just about anyone who needs or wants one and he refurbishes vintage drum kits in his spare time. During our conversation we learned that this is the first kit he's finished and given away but he really wants to do this more often. He said he had about 60 responses to his Kijiji post and he would love to help out other music loving kids.

This is the part when I get to start paying it forward; I'd love to help Ryan make other kids' musical dreams come true, but I need your help. Ryan is looking for drum kits to refurbish and pass on to other kids on his list, so if you have a kit, or know someone who has a kit, and you would like to donate it to Ryan please contact me at Some Random Mother with your info and I'll connect you to Ryan. If you don't have a kit but you would like to help Ryan's cause out financially you can contact me and I'll pass along his mailing address.

I think Ryan is an exceptional human being and he has made Dude happier than I've seen him in months. He has also reminded me kindness is never wasted and that you never know what blessings await you when you open your heart to others!

"Ryan is my favourite name, my favourite person! I want to be a Ryan when I grow up!"
~Dude, from behind his new drum kit

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