It was a simple act of kindness, but it led to an even greater one that will help to make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities.
Last Monday, while heading out to lunch, Jody Correia, a human resources associate with Royal Roads university, and her colleague, Lisa Robinson, spotted an elderly man lying in the grass on his front yard in Colwood. They pulled over to see if he was okay and found out that he had fallen while trying to move his recycling boxes.
“I just happened to see this white little sleeve poking out from behind a tree,” said Correia. “I knew someone was on the ground but I was kind of confused at the beginning because you don’t normally see that kind of thing.”
Correia and Robinson helped the 94-year-old man into his home, where his wife tended to him. The man didn’t know how long he had been lying there, but had no injuries.
The two left but Correia returned to the house later that day to check in on the man. She found him bundled up by the fire, fighting off the chill he caught lying in the wet grass, but otherwise in good shape.
To the surprise of Correia the man asked her for the name of her favourite charity and proceeded to write a cheque for $5,000. Shocked, Correia refused at first, but the man insisted and said that his passion at this stage in life is to support charities.
“He had a bit of a tear in his eye because he was saying how much he appreciated us stopping and I got all teary because I couldn’t believe his generosity,” Correia said.
Correia picked Easter Seals as the charity, as Royal Roads is taking part in the 24 Hour Relay on June 2 to 3 at the Univeristy of Victoria, which raises money for the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities’s charity. Easter Seals runs free overnight summer camps for children and teens with physical or mental disabilities.
On Vancouver Island, camps are held in Shawnigan Lake. The man’s donation will help send two youths to Camp Shawnigan.
The man wished to remain anonymous, namely because he is hard of hearing and did not want to have to deal with the media attention.
“It became quite the buzz at the university,” Correia said. “It’s so exciting how it’s inspired people. It’s given people hope, that there are amazing people out there that give of themselves like that.”