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A Call for Support on a Bittersweet Anniversary

April 13, 2011

I will warn you in advance, today’s article has next to nothing to do with my involvement in the hobby of collecting sports cards and memorabilia or my “business” of selling on eBay.  There is something of a sports theme to it though, as well as a topic that I would imagine many people can relate to, so I hope you will still have a read.

April 13 will always be a very bittersweet day in my mind.  As I mentioned in last Wednesday’s article, the anniversary of a couple of major events in my life were around the corner, and today marks the date two of them, with very opposite emotions involved.

First, it was a year ago today that my wife and I had to make the heart wrenching decision to put her beloved cat named Jack to rest after discovering that he was suffering from a particularly severe case of diabetes.  In the span of less than a week he went from being his usual self to becoming gravely ill and beyond the point of being able to save, all at just five years old.

I know some of you are probably thinking that it is just a cat and we should have easily moved on by now, but anyone who has been in our shoes knows how much pets can become like a member of your family and that was certainly the case with Jack.  It is difficult enough to lose a pet when you are expecting the end to come, so it was even more painful for us to watch him leave us so quickly, and to this day he is missed more than I ever thought possible.

Secondly, today also marks the day that I was officially offered the job that marked the first career change I have made since leaving university five years ago.  It was just a few short hours after losing Jack that I received the call informing me that the job was mine if I wanted it, which needless to say I did.

As the title of today’s suggests, that called turned April 13th into an especially bittersweet date in my life.

This too was a stressful process for me to go through for the first time.  Accepting a new job is nerve-wracking
in itself, but when it means leaving a job that you love, things can be that much more difficult.  The job that I
speak of was with Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays.

I spent more than four years in a few different roles with the charity, focussing mainly on marketing and communications efforts.  I also served as the resident expert on sports collectibles and memorabilia for fundraising events, which was pretty
cool given my obvious obsession with that sort of thing.

I was also fortunate enough to work with some amazing people and to see our work have some profound effects on the kids that the organization strives to support.  Thankfully, I very much enjoy the work that I am doing in my current job and the transition has had a hugely positive effect on my personal life, which serves to reassure me on a daily basis that I made the right decision.

One thing I did vow to do before leaving Jays Care, however, was to try to stay involved in their work, not matter how small that way might be.

At around this time last year, just as I was preparing to leave the organization, Jays Care introduced an online fundraising tool.  Naturally, I was sure to set up an account and began raising money for them.

I have set a modest fundraising goal of $500 and thus far have raised $175.  It may not seem like much, but I have seen firsthand what Jays Care Foundation’s programs and funding efforts can mean to kids who do not have the same sort of access to the things I took for granted as a child and I know how much this money can help.

So my request of you today is to do your part to help children and youth in need and support my fundraising
efforts in support of Jays Care Foundation.  Show you care.  Support Jays Care.

*****

So there you have it, an article posted on a sports card and memorabilia blog that has almost to nothing to do with sports, cards, or memorabilia.

It really did not feel right to write about anything other than what I did today though.  While I know that over time the significance of today’s date is likely to fade, today the things I wrote about are very much front of mind.

As always, please let me know what you think by posting a comment, connecting on Twitter (@bb_bros) or Facebook, or by e-mailing me at bb_bros@hotmail.com.  And of course, please feel free to make a contribution to my fundraising efforts!

Until Sunday and a return to the usual hobby related fare, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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