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Kindness around cottage country: open your hearts and your cottage rentals

Ever consider donating a week or two of your cottage rentals  to a charitable organisation or cause?  Ever heard the expression, “Pay it forward,”?  It’s the belief of giving someone something for no other reason than pure kindness.  You get nothing in return, except knowing that you did something for someone that was so tremendous for them, for their family, it was charitable.  Occasionally my husband and I do things like that in our lives.

Recently we sponsored a young sports’ team that needed more money this year to help fund the rising cost of tournaments in the US.  They would hold a banquet potluck every year in a local community centre.  Organize a pot luck, entertainment, and bar-tending for the grown up participants and charge admission for the event.  There would be a silent auction, a raffle, and beer ticket sales.  The event would generate enough funds to help the kids’ travel expenses and the team’s equipment needs and added expenses that seem to climb every year.  We endorsed a week at our cottage rental to help the team.  The minimum bid amount represented 35% of the true value of the week’s pricing in a peak season time-frame   A bidding war ensued and the week earned the team enough money to be widely noticed by other teams and coaches.  It sparked interest in the concept of potluck banquets and fundraising.

I was asked why we did it.  Was it for publicity and advertising?  At the time, we did it for the team and the sport.  But when I look back, we’ve done it before in situations where people we didn’t know crossed our paths and were in need.

A young woman who worked in town and had two young kids had suddenly found herself out of job and had mold infestation in her apartment.  Her son was very sick and she couldn’t leave the community her kids were born and being raised in.  She need some time get herself back on her feet.  Again, I don’t know exactly how it came to pass that our paths crossed, but they did one day.  She stayed in our cottage rental over the winter months to help keep an eye over it and keep her kids in school, while she looked for another job and another place to live.  It gave her time she needed and a clean place for her kids to live in.  I never asked for a penny.  I still marked it down in my bookkeeping as a rental, and I did not write it off.  It was my way of helping someone without any personal gain.  It made me feel great.  And to this day, whenever I see this young woman in town, we always have a tea and chat like old friends.  She’s doing really well.  And she’s promised me that she’s going to pay me back one day, and I tell her “no, don’t pay me, pay it forward…”