Amazing Stories of Kindness & Generosity by our Contractor Forum Members
As community manager for BeThePro I have been blessed to be a part of a community that puts helping others above most other goals. 2015 saw some amazing outpouring of generosity by many members of our contractor forum. As we head into 2016, we wanted to take a look back and recap a few of the truly selfless acts that we have witnessed this year.
We hope that everyone reading this will be inspired to find their own cause for which to give back. As the stories below prove, it doesn’t have to be a Bill and Melinda Gates-like donation to have a profound effect on the lives around them.
We look forward to 2016 and being able to help facilitate even more generosity and goodwill. We hope that if you find this inspirational, you will forward it along, share it and encourage other brothers and sisters in the trades to become a part of our community and contractor forum.
Thank you for a truly amazing 2015.
Jim, Kevin and the entire BeThePro.com Staff
The Worst Luck – an Amazing Response
Forum thread: http://bethepro.com/forums/topic/one-of-those-days/
This is a story of true brotherhood amongst tradespeople. Toolshead, as Phil is known on the site, slipped off a ladder two or three steps up and fell onto the uneven ground. His wife went and got the lawn mower and garden cart, hauled Phil up the hill to the car, and drove him to the ER. Phil says “I Couldn’t have done it without her.”
Unfortunately the repair (that resembled a pipe scaffold both inside and out) did not take and the foot and leg had to be amputated to just below knee. As Phil noted “..it happens. A couple months to heal. Therapy throughout. Then a prosthesis.”
Now Phil is recovering. “It is one thing that has to happen before the next. I want to be walking on a prosthesis and get along with my life but I have to heal from other operations first. Time now to really appreciate that I shouldn’t have put off a lot of projects at the house.” Phil wrote in a recent post.
But the story isn’t over, just this month Phil had contracted an infection as a result of the multiple surgeries and has had to undergo an angiogram this week. Not exactly the Christmas present he and his family were looking for. Throughout the entire ordeal, Phil has remained upbeat and has even been contributing to the forums in his moments when he’s feeling better.
As a community, when the members of the BTP contractor forum heard what had happened to Phil, they banded together in support of him. The thread dedicated to his journey has over 200 posts to it. ChadM, one of the forum’s moderators mentioned it to a few others “and it kind of snowballed from there – since last night a little over $600 has been put together and more are going to be kicking in. We were just going to send him a Visa gift card so he could use it however he needs.”
As of right before Christmas ChadM updated me that “Yesterday I sent out $825 on a Visa gift card to him – pretty much every active member contributed.”
You will remember, that no contractor forum member has ever met Phil in person. The love, concern and generosity of tradespeople is simply amazing. It restores our faith that at least amongst those who love to build things, the brotherhood is especially strong. Thank you to all of our members who have wished Phil well and contributed to his Get Well fund.
Memorial Display Case for Fallen Biker Brother
Boyd, Dabbs as he is known on the contractor forum, is one of the Moderators of the site, as well as a long time member of the community. For many years Boyd worked for the railroad piloting nearly every piece of heavy equipment they had. Then he retires. Now he spends his summers at the “camp” – Boyd’s code word for spending the summer hanging out on his twin inboard boat in Utah with his wife. In the winter months he is back in the shop.
Recently, Boyd received a request that was for the (in Boyd’s words) “The legacy of a fallen brother, we’ve been the best of friends for the last 20+ years and have been through a lot together. He has stage 4 cancer and I don’t expect him to live much longer. When he was first diagnosed with it just a couple months ago he asked me if I would do this for him if he dies. I was honored that he asked me to do it and also for him having so much faith in my ability for such an important task. They’ll be hung on the wall in each of the two clubhouses forever. Hence the reason I need to build two of them.
This is the saddest most heartfelt and high pressure project I’ve ever had to do. Kinda feels like I’m building his casket or something. But with a tear in my eye and my nerve riddled shaky hands I’ll get through it. I HAVE to *sigh*”
The request was for two Shadow Box type display cases that would be displayed in their motorcycle club’s meeting places. They would serve as a memorial. Of course Boyd took on the challenge and the results are nothing less than spectacular. When he presented them to the family they cried.
Throughout the entire process of building these memorial shadowboxes, Dabbs has been careful to keep in mind details about his friend and incorporate them into the design. There is no greater gift that he could have been given than to be able to make these for his friend. You can read the entire thread here.
Over The Edge for Charity
When Ed, Siberian as he is known on the site, approached me to help him spread the word about an event in Youngstown, OH that supported Beatitude House (a local charity that supports battered women and their children) I naturally said “what can I do?”
You have to understand that Ed is a long time member of the BTP contractor forum and this is not his first charity event. But as someone who is over 50 and is prone to staying on the ground, Ed was a little over his ski’s when he agreed to raise $1000 for the right to rappel down an 18 story building.
I made sure to post the story on the site as well as turn it into a BeThePro event that contractor forum members could come out to support Ed, his family and the Beatitude House cause. The event turned out to be a lot of fun for the members that attended and Ed rappelled like he had been doing it for years.
Over the same weekend a number of members met up at Hartville Hardware to enjoy some tool demos as well as a tour of the nation’s largest indoor hardware and lumber store.
Ed’s commitment to helping others helped Beatitude House make their goal for the event and also netted a new sponsor for the event for next year in Bosch Tools. We salute Ed and his dedication to helping others. You can read more about the event here. You can also watch the videos of Ed’s descent on our YouTube channel.
IWK Children’s Hospital Workshop – One Man’s Thank You
Without a doubt, what Dan Pattison has done to say thank you to the staff and doctors at the children’s hospital that saved his daughter’s life is truly inspirational. How this community responded is in and of itself an inspiration to other online groups on how they can help one each other out and in the process bring the community more together.
Dan’s daughter suffers from a heart disorder that required her to have an extended stay at IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This forced the family to have to move closer to the hospital and for Dan to have to establish his carpentry business in a new town. It was devastating but they did it and his daughter survived her ordeal. While she is not out of the woods completely, she is at home and doing much better.
Dan was so grateful to the staff and doctors that he really wanted to be able to give them something in return, but lacking funds he decided to get creative. Dan had learned that the hospital had a workshop that the local chapter of the Rotary Club used on Wednesday nights to build chairs, toys, bookcases and pretty much whatever was needed by the children that the hospital could not afford to purchase.
Dan saw an opportunity to give back. Dan is a master carpenter and woodworker who is most comfortable when he has a good amount of sawdust laying around him. He noticed that the workshop lacked several basic woodworking tools such as routers, jig saws and drills. He then took the points he was earning on the BeThePro contractor forum and redeemed for tools that the shop needed.
Now this was good, but Dan has bigger dreams. He enlisted the help of the BTP contractor forum community in a post where he asked if anyone was interested in donating to the cause. The response has been unbelievable.
To date, the IWKWoodshop account has over 1 million points donated and Dan has redeemed nearly 700,000 points for items ranging from a multi-stage dust removal vacuum to high end routers. So much generosity from a multitude of members has overwhelmed Dan and the Rotary members. The hospital has said that they have never seen an online group give so generously to help their needs.
We think this is the true brotherhood of the tradesman/craftsman being shown. There is a bond that those who build share, and that cuts across all lines and borders. Dan turned a bad situation into one where not only his daughter and his family won, but the entire hospital community won. We salute Dan’s efforts and are proud to be able to be a part of this gift.
Here is Dan telling the story and we feel a great way to end this story: We have so much to be thankful for. She has come such a long way since this time last year. Last December she was very sick and going into congestive heart failure and was getting ready to face the two open heart surgeries. God is so good and has really done a miracle in her life. She is a completely different kid from this time last year. We are so thankful to be close to a hospital like the IWK. They really do some amazing work there.
You can read about the amazing work they do at the woodshop and see examples of what they build with the donations here.