Give and get (or vice versa)

I’m writing this Karri-hour post on behalf of a friend – someone who didn’t know Karri, but if he had, I feel like they would have been great friends. I was on the receiving end of this Karri-hour. I go to school in St. Catharines, which is great most of the time but sometimes is just too far away from home and the people there. The other night I was out downtown and ran into a friend from Guelph who had reached out to me and offered kind words this past month. We chatted for a bit and this brought back a wave of emotions, but I kept it together. Later that night I found myself alone, trying to get a hold of a roommate I couldn’t find when I ran into a classmate I hadn’t seen since the previous year. I guess he could tell I was struggling because he said, “ok let’s go. I hate seeing people upset so by the end of the night you’re going to be smiling”. We
then proceeded onto phase 1 of the adventure: Smoke’s Poutine, which we ate in Pizza Pizza just to be different. After that he led the way to an Ale House where the bartender chose a house beer for us and we listened to live music and chatted with different groups of local people who, to be honest I wouldn’t have paid any attention to otherwise: a mother of 4 out for a beer at her favourite bar after a stressful week, a highschool teacher unwinding after his first week back etc. From here, we started to walk to a nearby park to see the stars clearly – all the while having the most hilarious conversation with a 3rd friend we picked up along the way (they talked, I listened and laughed just enjoying the moment). In the park, my friend hid a loonie in a crack in a fence post, just barely visible, because he said it would make someone else’s day when they found it. We left the park after seeing the stars and I headed home with a huge smile on my face.

I wanted to share this story, because as I was having an off night, someone lifted me up. This was someone who could have easily just passed by with a simple hello, but stopped to see how I was doing and then proceeded to take over an hour out of his night to cheer me up. It was a genuine act of kindness that I will soon be paying
forward.

Emma Porter

The Boys of Late Summer

Yesterday the Ross Royals baseball team had their final tryout. An exhibition game with GCVI. Through coaching some of the grade 9 hopefuls in their GMBA season that had just finished, I found out about this game happening just down the street. Having the night off, I went down to watch. It didn’t take me long to start reminiscing about the good ol’ days when I played for the Ross Royals along side our star center fielder, Karri Oksanen. At this game it was clear to me that some of these players lacked the natural talent and skill that was blessed to Karri. These players might actually need some guidance and hard work to get where our lefty centre fielder reached in baseball quite effortlessly. Remembering Karri hour, I walked over to Mr. Durk and offered up my time to help coach the Royals to what I only hope will be another winning season. So for the next few weeks I have my Karri hours devoted to something Karri would have been truly proud of, and I will be remembering him and sharing his love of baseball every step of the way.

Steve Benham

From Karri’s Dad

I went down the street to help the old gal who has a huge yard but no help but she wasnt awake yet. So I made my way to the nearby retirement residence and went up to the front door like I was going to go in the main sitting area but I noticed a sweet old woman as I was opening the door and she smiled at me and so I let go of the door and went over to the veranda and sat down next to this first person that I saw that was by herself. Her name was Jutta and she was a beautiful 91 years young Canadian citizen who had immigrated from Hanover Germany in 1960. Jutta wakes up early and starts her exercise at 7:00am Jutta walks 1 mile a day and keeps good posture and wonders why all the men in her building slouch over (I immediately sat up straight). I asked Jutta if she was going to church or something since she was all spruced up but she said that she always gets fully dressed up for everyday! [Read more…]

A Great Karri Hour Story

Today, I head over to the mall to pick up my camera. I hop out of my car, and start heading to the doors as this elderly woman walks towards me and expresses that she can’t find her car. I start by asking her if she has an alarm on her key chain to hopefully that could narrow down if it was in the area… but unfortunately she doesn’t have one. I show my condolences, and she starts to go on about how she has been walking around for a half hour looking for her car. I felt bad for her lost time, but was also worried about this woman’s safety at this point, so I offered to help her find it. The woman was worried she was being a bother, but I told her it wasn’t a problem… I had nothing important to do after work anyways. As we walked across the parking lot looking for a old green Toyota Corolla, she is telling me what stores she passed outside the mall before getting to Sears. We are approaching the entrance of Sears and after 15-30mins I spot her car… The little green Corolla with the small stripe along the side. I walk her up to the car to make sure it is the right one, and she ambushes me with a hug. She thanked me several times and joked about how she shouldn’t even be walking because she has had two hip replacements. (I have been very supportive of the whole Karri Hour movement and think it is a great idea. It has been on my mind for a while now, andtalked to Mr. Oksanen about how I loved that it celebrated Karri’s life in one of the most positive and constructive ways. [Read more…]

Karri on the job

Well this story isn’t so much about what I did. But more what Karri did for me. Last week I posted the link to Karri Hour on my Facebook page. Right after doing so I called Pete to tell him I had and to just see how things were. After Pete being very supportive and positive to me about my search for a job we got off the phone. As soon as I hit the end button my phone rang to tell me I had just been hired at Toyota Boshoku in Elmira. Immediately after hanging up the phone with them, I called my Mom first of course and in a flood of tears my next call was to Pete to tell him that I got the job. All I had to do was just pass along this amazing tribute to someone I was truly honored to call my friend and the powers of positivity blessed me with a gift that I really do believe had a little help from my friend. I miss you for many reasons Karri.

Thanks my friend,

Rob Carlton

A Day In The Park

Today was the Labour Day Picnic at Riverside Park. I arrived at 9:10am, and began to help set up. I helped peel the corn and helped carry things from the car to the site. Later on I began to help set up the “kid site”. All day I helped children of all ages paint pictures, making sure they were having a great time! The best part was getting to see how happy these children were, we actually had to tell a little girl that we were closing because she didn’t want to leave, even after painting five pictures. (it was her dads idea) Two young girls even decided to give their pictures to me, which made me happy! By the time we cleaned and packed up, it was 4:10 pm. It feels good to help people out!

Sarah Flack

From Tara Newman

One of the families who lost their home in the earthquake, around the corner from ours, recently moved in downstairs under us. They have 4
kids, all between about 12-16 years old. I decided to introduce myself and take down some cookies to say hello. They were so incredibly welcoming, polite and friendly. After having lost their home, they couldn’t have been more hospitable. Truly took my breath away. I thought I was doing them the favor really, but it ended up being better for me to see the strength of a family in the midst of hardship. Anyway, we talked for a bit. It was so nice, and something so “insignificant”, easy to do, that shows, it doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s gloomy day.

Karri, I love you.

The Karri Hour Keychain

We will also be offering the Karri Hour Keychain. Like the necklace these are hand crafted and stamped and proceeds will be donated to charity. keep in touch to find out how and when you can get yours.

From Carol Collins

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you Karri. Your wonderful family has made sure that you will never be forgotten. When I hold the door for someone behind me – Karri Hour. I sent an email to an old friend today – Karri Hour. Just finished watering the neighbours flowers – Karri Hour. I was really angry at a co-worker and said I would never talk to him again. Last week I talked to him and gave him some advice on a project – Karri Hour. One hour at a time, we will make this world a better place 🙂

Carol

Slow down

I want to thank Karri.

Many times I have passed someone on a park bench, who maybe wanted to talk.

Rushed someone’s story because I had somewhere to be.

Honked my horn because my few minutes of being late seemed more important then the people in the car ahead of me.

I have ran past an elderly person carrying bags or simply didn’t act as if someone needed help.

Many times in our lives we rush, cut things short or don’t stop to enjoy the moment.

Karri has made me slow down. He has taught me that life is too short.

Today I said hello to the man on the park bench. I held the door for an elderly couple and I played with my childeren, without my phone, without a clock and with a peaceful thought in the back of my mind…. Karrihour has brought positive influence and peace to hundreds of people. For that, I thank you.

May he rest in peace and may his family and friends also find peace.

Alexis Kulnies