Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Holidays

Dear Fellow Volunteers;

I hope this note finds you all in great holiday cheer, happy, healthy, and surrounded by your family and friends.

As we look forward to 2010 and what will hopefully be another successful fund raising year, I can’t help but reflect on what we have accomplished thus far and how all of this started for me.

I remember very clearly that day in mid-winter of 2003 when Nikki came to my house and asked if I would help her and Jenny compose a letter to send area businesses, asking for support for a spaghetti dinner they wanted to put on to raise money for CF. Nikki said that not many details were worked out yet but they thought they could make about $300 or so if we could sell 100 tickets. I was 50 years old then and had the good and sometimes not so good fortune to visit many countries around the world and realized many life events (some better then others) that most people never get a chance to experience, no matter how long they live. I didn’t know it then but agreeing to write those letters that night was the moment that put me on a journey that changed my life forever.

Who knew that volunteerism could bring such profound joy to one’s life. Like the feeling you get when you have secured a new donor or have welcomed a new volunteer into the group that has realized the initial excitement we all started with at the beginning of all this, for the first time. Did anyone really know just how generous Americans are? I never dreamed that most businesses and individuals would give so freely to our cause. Being a first hand witness to the generosity of the donors that support us and seeing the kindness and caring with which all of the volunteers perform their labors of love has melted the cynicism from my heart that had slowly built up over years.

The greatest joy derived from this endeavor for me is that it has brought me closer to many family members, especially Nikki and Jenny, without whom none of this would be possible. In my mind both of you are equally credited with not only raising tons of money for CF but also for enhancing the lives of all the volunteers you have assembled to join your cause. The two of you are always thanking us volunteers but in reality it’s we that owe you a debt of gratitude for enriching our lives with the benefits derived from volunteering. All of us are better persons for having being brought into this thing you started some seven years ago.

As for my co-volunteers, Ron, Bree, Kris, Angie, Maria, Jeremy, Chris, Andrea, Joe, Shannon, Brian, Michelle, Erin, Vikki, Matt and the rest, thank you for all that you do, for caring so much about Sal. You feel like family to me and I’m sure the rest of the Pinardo & Jiannuzzi family feel the same way. We can never repay your efforts but I assure you that we stand ready to help each of you in any way we can.

You are a dynamic group that has achieved far beyond any of our expectations. Your effort to create a future for others seems to say that you must seize the moment or loose it to eternity. Your fight for the future has you living in it today. Your enthusiasm to succeed as a group has an aura about it that draws the good from others and makes them want to be part of your team. I don’t say these things just to say them. I promise you that you all have a part in changing people’s lives for the better and in turn, in a relative way, are helping make the world what it might and ought to be. I realize that some who read this will think what lofty ideals this guy has. Fact is every word is true.

Best wishes for the upcoming holidays, hope to see you all at the first meeting next year.

Terry J.