A husband and wife in Winnipeg are asking others to simply show kindness to others in 2020 and beyond after they donated $230,000 to CHVN radiothons in 2020.
"It's not about the dollar amount that you can give," the husband says. "It's that you can do something for somebody else."
In the final moments of the Change Happens radiothon on CHVN in October the phone rang. The callers identified themselves as "an anonymous Christian family," and they told the operators they would like to match all funds raised to that point. That meant they gave another $130,000 to the funds received up to that point. Siloam and CHVN staff were all in shock and overjoyed.
Then, on Thursday, December 10 it happened again in the dying moments of the Be Part of a Story radiothon in support of Adult & Teen Challenge of Central Canada. With just minutes left the total was sitting at approximately $80,000. The couple called in and said they would match up to a total of $100,000. Sylvia St. Cyr excitedly went on to spread the word, we posted to social media, and we said we would stay on-air if the phones kept ringing. And the phones did keep ringing.
"We just want to make sure that everybody does something kind."
The donations began to pour in so quickly it became difficult to keep up with the changing numbers. Within 30 minutes of making the announcement another $10,000 had been given. Still on the air, well after the official ending, the couple called back and said, "Go home! We'll give the rest to bring the total up to $100,000," making for a total of $200,000 raised for Adult & Teen Challenge
Who are these people and what do they want you to do?
The couple agreed to speak with Mike Thom on Thursday evening so we could find out why they do what they do. However, they simply want to be known as "an anonymous Christian family."
It's their faith that's driving them to make the impact they have, especially with the difficulties that 2020 has brought for everyone.
"Do something nice, do something kind, show some love to someone that normally wouldn't be your neighbour - normally you wouldn't give them the time of day."
"We retired now," the husband says. "We had a business and were successful, and God blessed us, and this year especially we're able to, through Jesus' help, help some of these organizations, so we are."
"We're humbly blessed," the wife says. "There's so much negativity with COVID, with drug and alcohol addiction, with homelessness, and just a lot of hurt for families that can't get together right now. We just want to make sure that everybody does something kind."
For the couple, they strongly believe and want to encourage all, that everyone can do something kind for others, no matter their financial situation.
"We don't care if it's for a spouse, for a stranger, a donation to the Salvation Army, just pass it along. Do something nice, do something kind, show some love to someone that normally wouldn't be your neighbour - normally you wouldn't give them the time of day. For us, it's about giving back. We are so very fortunate to be able to give back."
The husband and wife say they personally know people who have used the services of Siloam Mission and also graduated from Adult & Teen Challenge.
They've also recently both found freedom from alcohol. The pair got sober together five years ago, and want to help others find the same freedom.
"This season especially, just give back. It doesn't have to be money. Just give back. We just encourage others to be kind."
"We know there's a need and God is directing us at what we can help take care of," the wife says. They hope the rest of the CHVN audience will join them in being the hands and feet of Jesus.
"What about if just randomly you see someone who needs a cup of coffee you buy them a cup of coffee," she says, "or you see somebody that needs just a break, or somebody struggling to have enough to pay their bills, if anybody listening to CHVN would just step up to help others, no matter how big or how small."
"It's not about the big money, it about, every bit counts equally," the husband says. "It's so important the world turns around, we're in such a bad spot right now, but we can do something."
"This season especially, just give back. It doesn't have to be money. Just give back. We just encourage others to be kind. I mean, you turn on the news, everything is negative about COVID. People are upset that we can't worship, but we can worship at home, and we can worship in other ways, by helping others."