"My" new van!
You've probably heard about my challenge from last year where I grinded a $100 bankroll into $70k playing tournaments and donated the money to charity. I think that it was an interesting challenge for everyone involved, but at the end of the day it's not really about the number of zeros, but about the real impact it has on people´s lives.
This is the van that APPACDM bought with the money I donated!!!
It cost a bit more than $70k which is the amount I gathered with my challenge, so I while doing some TV appearances I explained to the viewers why the charity needed the money. People were nice enough to donate a significant amount of cash! Unfortunately, were still short a few thousand euros, but PokerStars donated the rest of the money through their "Helping Hands" program.
I got invited for the van baptism, and when I say baptism, I mean the real deal with an official
Catholic priest, holy water, prayers and all! They also invited everyone from the local community, including the parents of the people that APPACDM assists.
The van is pretty cool, it's huge and has a really powerful Mercedes engine. But what is really cool is how much it changes the life of the people that use it every day!
The driver took me and a bunch of happy volunteers for a ride and I can assure you that he was talking to me with joy, explaining how much things have improved with the new van.
The previous van didn't have any way to load and secure the wheelchairs, so he had to grab the people and carry them in and out of the van in his arms. This damaged his back throughout the years, wasted a lot of time and obviously wasn't great for the people with mobility problems.
Another problem was that the heating of the previous van wasn't working properly and that made winters really unpleasant for all the passengers and drivers. Also, since the institution couldn't afford a new van and needed to keep using the old one, they were spending a lot of money in maintenance.
The parents were very thankful for the van, since they are not used to get donations this big and they know the impact it will have on the quality of life of their sons and daughters.
They spend many hours per day in the van in order to travel to and from the institution. This
institution has activities that stimulates them and allows them to have a better life than they would have without it.
Sometimes we get too caught up in our problems and forget that there are people with worse
problems than us!
Somehow these people manage to be happy with very little and that to me is very inspiring. It´s also true that we feel good by putting a smile on someone else's face, so now that it's December and Christmas is coming, why don't you try to do something that will make someone's life better? I bet that it will make you happy too!
I want to thank everyone that helped me and was part of this challenge, everyone that works on APPACDM or any other charity, and I wish you a Merry Christmas!
André Coimbra is a member of Team PokerStars Online