Jim’s Friends Helping Friends

21 02 2010

Today we went to an auction at LJ’s Lounge here in North Fort Myers, Florida.  It was to benefit the family of one of Glenn’s co-workers, Walter, whose sister passed away recently.  The organization that hosted the event was a charity called Jim’s Friends Helping Friends and they regularly hold events in the area to raise funds to help those in need, but outside of watching lawn mower pulls, I had never gotten an opportunity until today to really see them in action.  The amount of items donated were staggering.  Common people gave up their own items, from homemade desserts to brand new machinery to collectibles to boats to cattle.  All to go to auction with the proceeds going to benefit this family.  We had intended to try to auction on a few knick knacks but the going price quickly was too rich for our blood on almost every item.  And it made me proud.  No, we didn’t walk away with a patio light or a dried floral arrangement – but we did witness people bidding in the hundreds for bird houses and ladies chaps.  At one point, a gentleman won two head of Angus cattle for a four hundred dollar bid and yelled out to just double the bid amount for his amount due.  I watched one gentleman who sat facing the bar, not looking at the auctioneer and just randomly raise his hand to bid.  After winning he turned to a girl by his side and asked ‘what did I bid on?’. We watched a brand new lawn mower be auctioned for a few hundred dollars and a blueberry dessert in a tin foil container come in at just under $100.  These were ordinary people, who have bills of their own and tough times too, all bidding and paying for items simply for the sake of donating money.

For about seven years now I am told, the founder, Jimmy Roberts, has been hosting tournaments and tractor pulls, fishing days and archery shoots and auctions and more with the one intent of helping those in Lee County who need it most – those who have had a loved one pass away or are suffering from health concerns.  I wish I had brought my camera so I could share with you the compassion I witnessed.  It bolstered my spirits.  Even though we couldn’t give near enough to win a bid, I came away with more than I could have paid for anyhow.  Just seeing everyone coming together, without question, just to give what they could.

It was moving.

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