Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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ELLEN DEGENERES (AN AGENT OF GOOD KARMA)
When Lois and I started out, we made the conscious decision to hire our carriers, not as individuals, but as families. So, it may be a young teenager delivering your paper each week, but their whole family is involved. By making this decision, we knew we would have a good base of reliable carriers, as we felt that those that were involved with what their children do, probably instill good work ethics in their children as well.
Over the past twenty years, Lois and I are frequently impressed and made proud by what some of these young people achieve as they reach adulthood. When we see a young lady that used to work for us, raising children of her own, or acting in a role of leadership with a company or organization… we beam with pride. When we see a young man, that once hauled newspapers through extreme heat on hot days, or blizzard like weather in winter, now managing a business or making a difference in their community, we quietly celebrate in our hearts.
These are the types of folks that work for us that we affectionately refer to as ‘The Scoop Troupe’. Hard working families that believe in teaching their children the value of hard work, responsibility, and commitment. Lois and I believe that this has a lasting effect on our youth long after they leave us and that those same ethics will be passed onto the next generation.
Now, knowing the pride we have in our carriers who are a part of the Scoop family, you can imagine the joy we experience when one of them exceeds our expectations. Such is the case with 21 year-old, Shantel Miller. We’ve known Shantel’s parents for years, Val and Darryl Miller, who run Airdrie Windshield and Glass. We know them as a hardworking couple that gives back to their community and teaches that generosity to their children. We were thrilled when young Jagger, Shantel’s brother, joined ‘The Scoop Troupe’ as we knew we now had the Miller family as part of our family.
Now for the real story, folks. Shantel is a HUGE fan of Ellen DeGeneres. She never, ever, misses her show. Ellen has a way of inspiring her audience with guests, heart-warming stories, and acts of kindness. One will often find, after watching the show, an inner desire to be a better person. This is probably what makes Shantel such a big fan. So much so, that for almost three years, Shantel faithfully registered every week for tickets to sit in the audience of a live taping.
Then, four months ago, her determination paid off. Shantel’s sister, Shala, was in labour when Shantel got a phone call from the folks at ‘The Ellen Show’. Although her sister would have loved to go with her, she stayed behind with Shantel’s new niece, Jade.
Shantel showed up with some other family members, including her Mom, Val. While standing outside in line, the crowd was entertained with some games. Through those games, Shantel was chosen to participate in a game, live on air. You can imagine the excitement! This is her idol… her heroine… and she gets to actually meet her. Shantel won that game, folks. And as her prize, she was gifted with a big screen television. This was a BIG screen, you understand, so you can’t take it as a carry-on during the flight home. So the show’s producers told her they would have it delivered.
Once home, Shantel, still overwhelmed by her experience, reflected on her adventure. She then thought about what she had won. Did she really NEED that television set? She knew people who could use it much more than her. Besides, she had already met her heroine, so what more could anyone ask for? So, she wrote the show and told them that although she appreciated the gift, that she would like to see it go to someone more deserving.
Do you believe in Karma, folks? I do. I believe good deeds are deserving of good deeds. I believe that prosperity comes to those with generous souls. You see, folks, Shantel is a very hard working young lady. On top of going to university full-time, she also works at a local eatery, fills in at her Mom and Dad’s shop, works some on-call shifts at a local tanning salon, and pitches in with sorting and delivering newspapers for her brother, Jagger. She drives to and from school in a beat-up jalopy and crosses her fingers that she’ll get one more month out of it. She could have sold the television set, and put it towards another car, but that’s not what she did. Instead, as hard as she works, she chose to have it given to someone else less fortunate.
This is where Karma comes in, folks. Ellen was so moved by Shantel’s selfless act, that she invited her back onto the show, and again, Shantel was chosen to play a game. This time, she was jokingly told by Ellen, “You can’t give this one back!” Shantel was gifted with a brand new 2016 Chevy Malibu with all the bells and whistles.
I was privileged to be present last Thursday at Davis Chevrolet in Airdrie, as Shantel received her brand new ride. A crowd of people welcomed her and cheered. Not because Shantel got a new car, but because Karma did right by rewarding Shantel’s generosity through the generosity of Ellen Degeneres.
I gotta say… I think I really like that Ellen. You folks think her family might want to deliver newspapers? (chuckle)