Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Time to spread some Christmas cheer

My three Wise men helped put smiles on the faces of strangers, and so can you

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Christmas brings out the best in so many of us as we find a little extra charity in our hearts and reach out to help others.

That's what The Spirit of Christmas fund is all about as it attempts to raise money for toys and hampers for the less fortunate. It's a great cause and I implore you to do what you can to help out. Most often those doing the giving end up feeling fantastic for opening their heart and their wallets.

But some of us don't wait for Christmas to make a difference in others' lives. Some do it every day and without thinking about it. Their hearts tell them to help and they follow through.

This year, I've had the great fortune to watch three people -- I'll call them my three Wise men for these purposes -- help others they didn't even know and put smiles on the faces of strangers.

In 2011, George Sigurdson, Jerry Maslowsky and Dr. Peter MacDonald all came through for people they'd never met. And not in small ways but with impactful gestures that improved the lives of strangers.

In my position, many emails and phone messages come across my desk from readers and listeners asking for anything from insight on where the best place is to try and get a player's autograph to requests for free tickets.

If I can help with some advice I try and provide it but there are many requests that I just can't do anything about.

Sometimes, and I won't get into details or provide names because these are personal matters, a situation will come to my attention where through some of my connections in the sporting world, I can possibly facilitate a solution.

Through very little effort on my part -- we're talking a phone call or an email -- Sigurdson, Maslowsky and MacDonald were made aware of people with dilemmas that their unique skill sets could solve.

Sigurdson is an insurance magnate with friends all over the world, Maslowsky is vice-president of marketing with the Blue Bombers and MacDonald is a pre-eminent orthopedic surgeon.

They all have substantial abilities and ascribe to the motto, "with great power comes great responsibility."

There are not enough people in this world like these men who take time from their busy lives to provide help to others.

It's one thing to look after family or friends but another to quietly help strangers while asking for nothing in return.

I witnessed the impact these men had on the people they were able to help and they made positive changes to their lives.

The Wise men do it as a matter of course in their everyday lives. We should all strive to do the same.

The Spirit of Christmas fund is a good start. Take a page from the book of the Wise men and stick your neck out a little to help someone else.

We'll all be better for it.

Please send your donations to The Spirit of Christmas, c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2011 C6

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About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.


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