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On May 3, 2016 a massive forest fire devastated my hometown of 42 years; Fort McMurray. My family was safe in Ontario, but while I worked north of the fire, I lost my home and a part of my collection.
While this was happening, my friends at Breakaway Sports Cards and fellow breakers got together to send me a care package to help replace what I had lost. Collecting hockey cards really is one of the friendliest hobbies in the world.
I had heard about the Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness program by seeing #UDRAK mail days on Twitter, but I never thought one of these packages would show up on my door. In late May of 2016 I received a #UDRAK package and I was totally humbled by the caring I received from Upper Deck.
To some people trading cards aren’t a matter of life or death, they are MUCH more important than that. For me though, after losing my home and seeing so many others affected by the fires in Fort McMurray, I realized that trading cards are a welcome distraction that can help take your mind off troubles and engage in a fun hobby with the whole family. As a result of all the compassion I received and special mail days that came my way from people I had never even met, I decided to start a mission to pay it forward to other collectors.
Once this started, a few friends and I started to expand sending surprise mail days to other good people with the direction to pay it forward. I personally delivered 13 sets of SP Authentic NHL® to be given to young collectors in Fort McMurray. As collectors score these surprise mail days, more and more collectors are getting involved. Our latest endeavor involved joining up to send packages to special needs children who definitely deserve a special treat like cards from their favorite players.
Through it all, kindness was shown to me and I have made an effort to repay it 100 times over. Won’t you join in? Let’s share the fun of the hobby with those who need it most! Join me, @Reno200211 on Twitter and follow the newly created hashtag #CollectItForward as we look to do good like Upper Deck has done with their #UDRAK program.
Guest Writer: Rene Lemoine
Rene has been actively collecting for 30 years with his main collection focused on vintage hockey card sets. His personal collection focus has always been the Edmonton Oilers. He is mainly on Twitter sharing the true love of collecting with others where he enjoys promoting and sharing surprise mail days with other collectors.