The holidays are all about giving, which is why one generous donation made to CBC's Sounds of the Season (SOTS) charity drive is worth sharing.
The campaign raises money for Ontario food banks through a series of initiatives including a package called "Nerdfest" that provides guest tours of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto.
An all-day annual charity drive is also held at CBC every holiday season to help collect donations.
'I turned the cheque over and I almost passed out. Then I started screaming.' - Joan Melanson, CBC Radio executive producer
"The whole idea behind this silent auction offering is a nerdy, behind-the-scenes look at what makes things go [and] how they go," said Chuck Jutras, production and operations manager for CBC Toronto's TV, radio and online services.
"So there was a lovely mother and daughter combination who purchased the package and just through a series of scheduling miscues ... we weren't able to do it until this year," Jutras said.
"Chuck met with the winners of the package, I think they paid $300 or something, for a tour," said Joan Melanson, executive producer for CBC Radio in Toronto.
All of the funds raised from the tour also went to the charity campaign.
"They were really rabid CBC fans and they were absolutely lovely and it was great to have them in," Jutras said.
"I gave them a big tour of the station and showed them some of the behind-the-scenes stuff and they got to meet some of the great personalities like Gill Deacon and Carol Off and Dr. Brian Goldman."
Jutras said it was "an absolutely fantastic experience" and the duo appeared "absolutely over the moon" with their time spent at the tour.
Answering the call for help
An hour later, Melanson received a call at her office from security saying there's someone at the front door who wants to contribute to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
"I spoke with the lovely woman who just finished the tour with Chuck and was so impressed by the tour that Chuck gave them and the work that we're doing here at CBC," Melanson said.
The woman heard the call for help needed at the food bank and handed over a cheque.
"I turned the cheque over and I almost passed out," Melanson said. "Then I started screaming."
Melanson ran over to Jutras and praised him for the impression he left on the woman, revealing the cheque.
"When I saw the amount on it, I was completely blown away," Jutras said.
"This cheque was for $10,000," Melanson said with amazement. "And I think he was feeling pretty good about that."
Jutras said he appreciates the "generosity of spirit" exemplified by the woman but also noted the impact the money will have on the lives of many who use the food bank.
Melanson was thankful for the cheque but she also wanted to make clear that all donations — big or small — speak volumes about the community and go a long way toward helping others.
More than $435,000 has already been raised for Sounds of the Season and that doesn't include Monday's hefty cheque.
If you haven't donated yet, there's still time as donations will be collected until December 31.
Go to cbc.ca/sots or visit the Canadian Broadcasting Centre at 250 Front Street West to drop off some canned goods and non-perishable food items.
Anything you can do to help is sure to make a difference for someone in need this holiday season.