To The Editor,

Joey Desjardins is inspiring Ottawa. My latest book publication called “Through Coaches Eyes” is simply a collection of my 100 favorite instructional, motivational and humorous poems. It was fun to do and I told Joey that I would donate $1,000 this January from the profits of the book. 

I referee basketball here in Ottawa and this past weekend was Part One of the Chris Paulin Memorial Basketball Tournament. Part Two is the weekend of December 9th to 11th and part 3 from December 16th to the 18th. When not refereeing last weekend, I sold my books and I wanted to share some of the amazing stories and support that I witnessed for Joey. I have a poster with a picture of Joey and a write-up in English and French about Joey’s accomplishments. 

Story number one: The grandmother who came to see her grandson play basketball. I introduced myself and began speaking in English. She dismissed me, saying “Je ne parle pas anglais.” But then she stopped and looked back at my poster, reading what was in French. She looked at Joey, opened her purse and handed me a $20 bill. She replied again, this time saying, “Je ne parle pas anglais, mais je veux faire un don pour Joey.”

Story 2: Many more people that I met chose not to buy a book but rather made donations of $10, $20 and $50, all to support Joey.

Story number 3: I’m at John McRae Secondary School when a gentleman and his wife come up and speak to me in broken English. They wanted to know more about Joey. I filled them in. “We are originally from Syria but we had to flee our homeland to Turkey because of the war. We were so happy to have been accepted as refugees here in Canada. We would like to donate $20.00 for Joey because Canada has been so good to us.”

Joey–in one weekend, with book sales and donations, the amount taken in was over $1,000.

Joey, you are inspiring and bringing hope to so many people, many of whom you will never meet and you may never know the impact you might have had on their life. But Joey, I know you would say,” It doesn’t matter that I might never have known what I did that made a difference in someone else’s life; all that matters is that I did what I did and that it helped someone along the way.”

Joey, je te verrai en janvier.

Sid MacCallum, Orleans