Kicked down yet won’t stay down

On a cloudy Friday morning, 5-27-2011, to be exact. Matthew Blosser, my brother, and I woke up early to go fund raise at the hartville flea market in Hartville, OH. The story begins: we arrive at 8:30am to set up with high hopes of doing our part to make a difference. The morning is gloom but our attitudes are high, chances of rain on the forecast but that wasn’t going to stop us from serving our troops. We set up our table and chairs, put our globe on the table to remind of us our goals of changing the world, and we are ready to go. The morning is still young so we decide to feel out the vibe of the venue, so we start to walk around. As we walk around the first vending station we see is a soldiers father trying to get signatures for a petition (I don’t know what the petition was exactly for, we planned on asking him later because he had customers). We continue to walk around and see people selling things like fresh produce, corn hole boards, clothes, guns, hats, if you have ever been to the Hartville flea market you know the possibilities are endless. We get under the canopy approaching the indoor market and I see this strange vegetable called rhubarb. I curiously ask the gentlemen selling it what it was and he said “You have never had rhubarb before”? I replied, ” No sir”. At that moment he jokingly said “WHAT, I’m going to cut you off a piece and break your rhubarb virginity”. He cuts me off a piece and I have to admit it was pretty tasty. We got to talking and he was telling us ways to cook it and things to eat it with, and I thanked him for his kindness and went about my way. As we continue to walk around and look at all the stuff people have for sale Matt and I run into one of the big dogs and the guy who runs the out door flea market, Bruce. This is where things start to take a turn to negative town. We get to talking and he asks, “What are you guys selling”? I said back, “We are just walking around right now but we are going to be selling raffle tickets in order to help support our soldiers, our booth is over there.” He nicely asked us to show us where our booth was and started to explain how they don’t allow raffle sales at the Hartville flea market, blaming it on frauds in the past. I can understand, because for every 1 person trying to do the right thing there are 40 people trying to do the wrong thing, and it ruins things like this for the real people out there trying to make a difference. We end up making our way to the car, and we are about to leave when I decide to see if there is anyone else I could talk to that could give us permission. I go up to the customer service counter and here comes Bruce out of the back office so I immediately know he’s the guy. He tells me how he was just coming outside to find me and he had a copy of their rules with the rule highlighted. It reads as, “No games of chance, skill or raffles are allowed without approval of management.” I get a spark of hope in my heart and say, “Well it says right there without approval of management, so what do I have to do in order to get approval. I will supply the items we are raffling off and physically bring them in to you guys so you know we have the promised prizes. I will also bring in all of the documents showing our legal status as a non profit and our raffle will be held right from our Facebook online, so you could even watch the raffle your self so that you know we aren’t lying to your customers.” I paused for a second and then continued, “Sir we are just trying to help a good cause, our soldiers deserve it and we will do what ever it takes in order to be able to sell these at your flea market.” He acknowledged the fact that it wasn’t our fault, it was people from the past who ruined it for everyone and wouldn’t budge. I thanked him for his time and went back out to the car with my head down. On my way back out to the car, Matt is walking in saying how he wanted to go see his friend that was upstairs who had a booth. Me and my brother sit in the car and wait for Matt to come back. Matt comes walking back with an angry look on his face and I knew instantly he must of ran into Bruce too. Long story short Matt comes to find out that the Hartville flea market will let organizations like the Red Cross come in and sell raffle tickets. Then said to Matt the reason we couldn’t be there is because we are not a big organization like the red cross and that is why we had to leave. It didn’t matter that we could legally prove all of our words,provide him with the items, or that he could watch the raffle himself. He wouldn’t let us prove to him that we weren’t like those people in the past. We are real people, doing real things to better our community and we just want to help. The little guy is always being kicked down. The Red Cross was small like us at one time as well, so why do people make things so hard on the little guy now of days. Yet big organizations like a walmart can go to any venue, place or organization and run any type of event and no body would even care. I’m sure some people even forget the word no when they see the dollar signs a Walmart can bring. This world is a cold place sometimes, you could be doing all the right things for all the right reasons, yet some people don’t care. We aren’t discouraged though. In our hearts we know we are doing the right thing and for that reason we know God is on our side. With his help and our determination we won’t let obstacles like this stop us. Our non profit organization is going to climb over this obstacle and keep a straight path. The only time one can be a failure is after you quit, and we don’t know what that word means. With our faith in God we know as long as we are doing the right thing good fortunes will come. So if you are out there feeling like no matter how much you do right everything goes wrong, keep getting back up and don’t give up. I believe that the more negative obstacles you over come the greater then return later in life. So keep being a positive influence because like the saying goes,”You reap what you sow.”


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