Charles Shaughnessy Website |
Holiday Gratitude Contest
First of all, let me say how overwhelmed I was by the amazing response to this contest. I am thrilled that so many of you took the opportunity to search inside yourselves for a moment and meditate on this very important topic. Your insights, honesty and experiences moved me so much. I am truly grateful to all of you for making this a special event. It is almost redundant for me to "pick a winner" as you have a ALL so clearly WON in terms of finding happiness and what matters in life. However, for the purposes of the exercise I must single out ONE to represent ALL.
I was touched to hear from "Annie" in Argentina who has been having a very hard time in her country this year. She is grateful for the lessons and strength she has discovered in times of such adversity.
I appreciated what "Vreni" had to say about being thankful for the BAD along with the GOOD, because the richness of LIFE is made up of both.
But after a lot of thought, I decided to name "Jennifer" from Canada as the winner for her inspiring story of gratitude and reciprocity. Kindness returned generation to generation.
Thank you again for all your valued contributions and for the uplifting effect they had on me.
All my best, Charlie
This is Jennifer's winning entry
In 1945 my father and grandmother were released from a German labour camp. Alive, but homeless and penniless, dad arrived in Canada, a bewildered eight year old stepping off a ship.
A wonderful family took him in and he built a good life. Cancer took dad at 41 but he never forgot their kindness.
This summer, with friends, family and co-workers, I helped finance and build a Habitat For Humanity house for a family. When the family received their house, I thought of dad and felt grateful to be able to return some of the kindness he'd received.
When we informed Jennifer that she won, this is what she wrote back. "Habitat For Humanity" is such an important project, I thought you would enjoy reading what else she had to say about her experience.
Hello A.J and Charles,
Wow! Thank you very much. I'm genuinely surprised to have been chosen.
It was an honour to work for Habitat this past summer and if my dad was still alive, I'm sure he would have been right there beside me on the scaffolding, no doubt showing me how to properly hang the siding or measure the drywall. Both my parents taught me the importance of giving something back to the community and supporting those who are less fortunate than us. The project actually took two years of hard work raising the money to finance the house and several weeks of building but it was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Words can't really describe what it was like to be able to hand the keys to that house over to a young mum and her three children. I'm not sure who shed more tears of happiness that day - me or the new homeowners? I had a lovely letter from the family just after Christmas and they are enjoying their new home along with the security that comes with having a decent roof over their heads at last.
If you are curious about Habitat and what it's like to be a volunteer working on a house, here's a link to the Ottawa branch which contains links to the USA and international projects. I was the chair of the Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt house which was built as part of The Edward Schreyer Work Project 2002. I'm looking forward to getting involved with another project soon.
I wish you happiness and good health. Thanks again for choosing my entry Charles.
Sincerely, Jennifer S.
If you missed the contest, but want to read about it, this is what it was all about . . .
One thing that I am always thankful for is the support of my fans. With the end of another year approaching, I decided to have a contest this holiday season on the website to thank you. . . but I thought it would be nice to have you tell me what you are thankful for as well.
So, send me an email with "grateful contest" as the subject of the email. Then tell me in 100 words or less, what you are thankful for this holiday season.
You must send in your entry by Sunday, 18 January, 2003. After reading all of the entries, I will select one winning entry. As my thanks, the winner will receive a personally autographed photo from me to you, a gratitude journal inscribed by me for you to continue writing what you are thankful for throughout the year, and your winning entry will be posted on the website.
PLEASE read and follow ALL of the rules listed below carefully before you enter as we will only accept one entry per person.
A personally dedicated, autographed photo and a personally inscribed gratitude journal from Charlie to you!
Here are the rules:
All entries must be received by Sunday, 18 January, 2003.
This is very important. With so many to read you MUST limit your e-mails to 100 words or less. This will be strictly adhered to. NO exceptions. Anything over 100 words will be disqualified. It MUST be 100 words or less.
To keep it honest and give everyone an equal chance, remember, only one entry per person will be considered and you must include:
your first and last name
the city & state or city & country where you live.
The winning entry will be posted on the website.
You MUST have the words grateful contest as the subject title of the email or we may not receive it.
Any entry that does NOT meet the rules properly will be disqualified and will NOT be eligible to win.
Have fun! Best wishes and Happy Holidays to you all! ~Charlie
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