Life always presents us with options; the freedom to make choices. I am always conscious of the fact that people have choices, thus when their choices include an option to pitch their tent with me, to publicly identify with me, I do not take it for granted. I actually find it humbling.
When Tina, a member of the board of trustee of the CpCenter told me someone called from Akintola Williams and wanted to know what they could do for the Center, I must confess that I did not take her seriously. No, I did not doubt that someone called her, what I took with a pinch of salt was the ingenuity of the caller. I was away on a trip, obviously the said caller could not reach my phone but got through to Tina. That was over two months ago. Since then, once in a while Tina would ask me if they have visited the Center, each time I said no, and she would say; they will come. You see, Tina has such a strong faith. One day when she asked if they had come, after I said no, I asked her; by the way, what did you tell the said caller that the Center needs? Oh, that? I told them to pay the rent. Hm.., that’s okay, but may be you would have asked them to finance the Conductive Education program we are dreaming of. Nonye, that is a big project. Are they not a big organization? Anyway, Let’s see them first. Like I said I did quite believe the caller. Not that I do not have faith, but we know that there are few nut heads out there.
About two weeks ago, my phone rang, the caller identified himself and said he was from Akintola Williams. Hm…… for real? he wanted to make an appointment to visit the Center. I gave him our working hours, we agreed on a date.
So this day, to my pleasant surprise, in walked two young people, said they represent the staff of Akintola Williams. The man said he had called some time ago. Oh yes, I said, you spoke to one of our members of BOT. We talked. I explained what we do at the Center and why the Center.
Every Friday according to them, the staff of Akintola Williams “dress down” to work. They all contribute money towards charity, sort of a fund raising and whatever money they raise, the management “matches” it and they give to a charity of their choice. That is, if the staff raises say one hundred Naira, the management adds one hundred Naira to it.
They were here because the Cerebral Palsy Center is one charity they chose to identify with. I wanted to know how they found us. On the internet the young man said. They said they have been doing this for a while now and they derive happiness doing it. Tell me about that.
Was I tripped? Sure, not much for the money they gave us (if you must know, it is nowhere near the value of the rent) but it is so so much to me. What trips me is the fact that we were the choice they made. That they believed enough in what we do to make us an option , meaning we could present a world of opportunities to sophisticated investor, now you are smiling, don’t mind me. I am just happy.
Thank you, Akintola Williams for making the option to pitch your tent with us!