It’s not every day that you go on a trip that changes the way you think about everything. It all started when I received a call to let me know that I would be heading to Prince George to oversee a social media holiday campaign film shoot. I knew two things about Prince George before I flew there a few days later: it was far away and it was freezing cold. Both of these things were in fact true, but I also learned so much more about this community.
The project started in November when we posted a simple question on our TELUS Facebook Page: “If you could give anything to anyone, what would you give?” We knew we would get a ton of great responses but we weren’t prepared for some of the beautiful things that came out of the comments. We had more than 500 responses ranging from people saying they would give a new phone to their dad, university tuition to their daughter, to even some “small “requests like world peace.
We found a few comments that really touched our hearts and decided to help make these wishes come true. The one wish that we decided to grant was from Chelsea who lives with her husband Dallas and son Kale. Chelsea commented on the post by saying “I’d buy myself a lift for my van so I could bring my 3 year olds powerchair home with us and out places as a family.” Out of anything she could give anyone, Chelsea’s only wish was to have her son’s power chair be more accessible so he could be more independent.
As we got to know Chelsea, Dallas and Kale last week, something really struck me about this family. They smile more, laugh more and seem happier than most people I see these days. They truly appreciate the time they have together and make the best of their situation. Chelsea and Dallas are amazing parents that have more on their plates then everyone I know combined. Yet through it all they stay positive and don’t ever let their situation bring them down.
Throughout our stay in Prince George, we were able to see the family at home, at Kale’s school and around the community. Simple tasks like dropping into the mall, going to school or just talking a walk are challenging. But what gets this family through the monthly, weekly and daily challenges is seeing the smile on their son’s face that lights up any room. Kale was one of the happiest kids I’ve met in a long time and I credit his hard-working and brave parents entirely.
With a lift in their family van, Kale’s family can bring home his power chair so that he can get around more easily. This chair weighs more than 250 pounds and had to be left at his school since it wasn’t able to be lifted into the van. Now Chelsea will be able to move the chair herself and give Kale the freedom to control it and learn skills for the future.
I was so grateful to have had the chance to meet Chelsea, Dallas and Kale and see the genuine love they share. When going into the holidays this year, I will truly be thankful for everything I have and always think of the smiles and happiness that could be felt just being around this family.
Here’s the story of Kale’s new lift.
For other great giving moments, check out: www.telusgiving.com.