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Proud to be an Elf

This past weekend I took my three girls
back to the Akron area and had an amazing time.

Here’s what we did.

Early yesterday AM, Sophia and I
ventured out into the cold to be
a part of an amazing group of individuals
called Elves and More.
I left the two little ones at Moms.

E and M bought and built 1000 bikes
to give away in some of Akron’s roughest
streets.

“There was a shooting three days ago
at the corner where the caravan is taking us.
So be on alert.”
Timmy the leader secretly shared with a couple of us
before we left.

Sophia and I boarded the bus along
with 25 other elves and off we went.

The police escort through Akron
made my heart race not knowing what
to expect.  As we snaked through the boarded up
neighborhoods, one woman pointing her megaphone out
the bus window declared,  “Bring the children and come
get a bike. Merry Christmas.”

Soon we had a trail of cars several miles long
before we settled on 3 way stop
where 7 tractor trailers docked for
the morning.

Off we went from the bus, telling Sophia,
stay close to me.

Before you knew if there were bikes behind barricades
in nice neat little rows.  Police
officers let in a family one by one
along with a volunteer to select a bike
with them.

I got to see crying mothers and children
when they received a bike.

I also saw people who just took
a bike and exited quickly  – as if it all were a dream and
when they woke their new bike would be taken
from them.

I recall standing in the middle of
a make shift toy store under the gray sky looking up
when it hit me. Im grateful for what I have.
And I’m grateful to be here with my daughter helping others.
Then I felt my eyes well up
and a teardrop grab skin as it rolled down my cheek.

Was a wonderful experience. I’ve included a
video from the TV station if you want to check it out:
http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=127447
Click on the video to the right.

The saddest part was turning away hundreds of families
because our bikes ran out.  The line extended around the block.

So you can bet I will help to be apart of raising even
more money in the future to ensure
every kid gets a bike.

Afterwards, I told another volunteer, “I miss being apart
of a team. Working together for a good cause.
But this team is different because
its not concerned about wins or losses. Rather, its concern
is much, much greater than that- helping out needy families and making
their day.”

So this holiday season if you can donate
your time, money and energy – do so, you’ll
experience so much joy and happiness-
making someone else HAPPY.

If you are interested in learning how
to donate to this generous group, please send
an email and write in the subject line “I want to donate, Vince”

Best,

Vince Palko
“One of Santas Elves”

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One Response to “Proud to be an Elf”

  1. Kristian Merton Says:

    Where is it, i need to read more about this posting, thank you.

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