Thursday, September 15, 2011

Heavenly Rewards - Mickman Brothers Wreath Fundraiser

After working with our Christmas Wreath Fundraising Chairpersons for most of my life, I have to report that you volunteers are some of the biggest-hearted, and honest people I have ever met.  At the same time, the neighbors we have around us are great to work with, and we all go out of our way to help each other.  Put the two together, and you end up with a fantastic combination.  To wit:

Many of our local and Midwest customers choose to pick up their orders instead of having us arrange transportation.  This usually works quite well, but I have to admit that many of the contraptions that arrive remind me of the buggies my dad used to use back in the 1950's.  We always have a lot of bailing twine handy to lash the boxes down on open, flat bed trailers; we've gotten very good at knot tying and I'm pretty sure most customers arrive home with their entire order intact.

A couple of years ago, two good buddies from a Church Youth Group in Iowa pulled up in an old, enclosed church cube van on Saturday - just before we were closing for the day.  They had some transmission trouble on the way up they explained, but finally made it.  Well, we loaded them up and their very large order barely fit (with some custom packing by yours truly). 

I was out by the van when they started up and waved goodbye.  They only made it about 50 feet when their transmission stopped working altogether.  After a short conversation, the fact was revealed that neither they nor their church 'transportation fund' had any money.  Hmmmm... Now there was a problem!

So I called up my old buddy Guy Bleckenger who owns a car repair shop down the street and asked if he could come over and look at the van.  He came right over and made the dreaded proclamation that the transmission was toast.  I explained to Guy that no one had any money and asked how much a used transmission with labor would be.  He told the three of us, and it was much more reasonable than one would have thought.

Then, one of the church guys asked Guy if he needed any carpentry done, because both he and his buddy were professional carpenters.  "Well yeah," Guy announced.  "I need to have a big expansion to my shop sheet-rocked."  In short order, Guy and the 2 church guys had it all worked out.

Guy towed the van to his shop, then went to the junk yard to pick up the used transmission.  The church guys jumped right in and started to hang sheet rock.  When I left them at about 6:30PM, everything was well under way.  By Sunday (after church services) the two church guys were on their way back to Iowa, with a fine, used transmission and Guy had his new shop completely rocked with the first coat of tape applied.

All the players won, once again.  The Church Youth Group had a very successful fundraiser, the Church got a new (used) transmission, I got a very loyal customer and Guy Bleckinger got his new shop rocked.  Hopefully, we'll all get our heavenly rewards too!

John Mickman

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