Sunday, August 26, 2007


For the past several years in August I would volunteer my time with MDA to go to 33 fire stations in three days to speak/motivate firefighters to do the fill the boot campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Labor Day. Each year I enjoyed myself more and more as I really got to know what a bighearted group that they were. A lot of them knew who I was from previous years and would have warm cookies waiting for me. When it was time for lunch at whatever fire station we were at they would fix us lunch, and they can cook let me tell ya! I got rides on a fire trucks, and they always made me feel so welcome. Not to mention a lot of them could burn out my flame at any time, if you know what I am sayin, LOL!! Every year when we would do this one at the firefighters would drive me and one of the people from MDA to each fire station in the Tulsa area. We would get to know that particular firefighter pretty good as they were with us each day. As we were talking in the vehicle I mentioned the fact that since I am now in the wheelchair full-time, and my house had steps I was not able to go outside of my house by myself. Our mailbox was on our fence across the yard, and I was not even able to go get it any more independently. It made me sad, and I was not telling him to figure out a solution to my problem but merely in discussion as he was my friend.

Little did I know, but he had spoken to several firefighters who he knew also did some construction work on the side. They took up a collection of money, bought the lumber, and called me to come over and build a ramp for me at my front door so that I could independently be able to get outside. I was very overwhelmed with emotion when I learned what they did. So six firefighters came over to the house with all of their tools, and the lumber. They sweated in the hot heat for about an hour and a half, and completed a very nice ramp that would gradually slope down. The new station got wind of what they were doing, and came out to tape a segment for the news! Before they left I gave them all big hugs (I did not care that they were sweaty), and begin to cry. None of what they did was to benefit them in anyway. I was so grateful, and would never be able to repay them. About a year and a half later we moved to Ft. Worth Texas (I continued speaking to the firefighters there, and was even flown back to Tulsa to speak to them one year!). The people who bought the house after us left the ramp up for several years as they told us that they had friends in a wheelchair, and the ramp would come in handy. My parents and I often drive by our old house when we go back to visit family and friends. The ramp was taken down about five or six years ago:(

Has anyone ever done something for you that was unexpected and did not benefit them?
I can think of lots of things in my life that people have done for me (even on a daily basis). I shared one of mine, and would love to hear one of yours. It can be big or small, but the meaning behind it all makes it grand! That is why I love volunteering, you get as much when you give as you receive if not more.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S


~*Magnificent Mel*~ said...

The firefighters are very awesome. They are always so friendly and giving of their time. That was a very nice ramp they built, too bad it is no longer up.

I have had a few people do nice things for me unexpectedly. The most recent being Cathy dropping her entire weekend with a days notice to come to the retreat with me in May. She's the best.

Parisjasmal said...

Awwww--how touching. That brought a tear to my eye. I remember how much you loved the Firefighters. I so remember Scott and his daughter. Wasn't his name Scottt?

I am sure you and your family were sad when the new home owners took the ramp down.
That is such a nice photo of all of you.

There have been many people to do good things for me with nothing to gain themselves. One thing that comes to mind is when Jonna gave you the voice dictation and then you were able to give to someone else who needed it and could appreciate it. That was a very nice thing, and nice how it turned out.


karen said...

i love your blog! great post. i saw some cute firefighters at the grocery store this morning. made me verrrrrry happy!

MISS S said...

Mel- I am so glad Cathy came too because I benefited as well for getting to see you!

Paris- Good memory. His name was Scott and his daughter was the sweetest.

Karen- I am so glad u like my blog. It means a lot. WooHoo for seeig the firefighters! They always make my day:)

UntPawGal02 said...

Steph! You're post is so touching! The firefighters do such great things and I understand why you love them so much!

fish said...

In a world, where one feels so incompatible and alone, the things people do for you, make you fell wanted and loved.
Mostly its the little things, and sometimes, sometimes people do great things too.
What we do today echoes in eternity.

What I can do for you today, is to tell you a story of mine, as you wished.
Years ago, I ran away from home, left for Bosnia( about 500 km away from Slovenia, where I live( you have to understand, that the entire Yugoslavia as it was 20 years ago,was as big as texas)) and joined the bosnian army as a volunteer. I was 17 years old, and was confused and idealistic as a result of what my life was like till then.
But this is not a story about what happened in the time I was there, Its a story about how it ended.
You see, I decided to leave Bosnia after 7 months, but in these months I lost all my papers, my passport and so on.
I was not a problem to come out of bosnia, I had connections there, but it was a problem how to cross Croatia without Slovenian papers and without an exsplenation of what I am doing there. If someone should find out that I was a volunteer in Bosnia, fighting against the Croatians, I would be shot immediatly in Croatia.
But I came across some Canadian soldiers from the Un, and when they heard my problem, they gave me theire uniform and put me on a conwoy of medical suplies. So I crossed Croatia in a foreign uniform, at the risk of the Canadian soldiers, to finally reach Slovenia. My free country.

Without theire help, well, who knows.
Today, today I am a grown man, and I live in the Europian union. I am a student of Law, and proud of who I am.
But there are people I will never forget. I hope there are some, who think of me in the same way.