A couple of weeks ago, I got a request for some help. One of our customers, Debby, had received her case, but it had cracked during shipping (we do have about a 3-5% breakage rate for most of our cases as they are fragile). She wanted to know if our A014 case-that's the second largest case we have (it was designed for Fireman's helmet and measures 18" x 14" x 12")-came with the wood base because she had a signed basketball shoe she wanted to display. As this case isn't used for anything associated with basketball or other wood floor sports, the answer was, unfortunately, no. I mean we have our A082 with the wood floor to display sneakers and at 15.25" x 12" x 9" every basketball shoe we have come across has fit into that case. But not this shoe; it needed a bigger case-it needed the A014.
The shoe was presented to her special-needs son, Casey, when he was in Nashville to receive the Papa John's National Ambassador Award. A bit of background first. Casey has been working for seventeen years at Papa John's. He started out as box folder and received the title Head Box Technician soon after he started. Two years ago, on his 15th Anniversary, he became Box Technician Supervisor, and ultimately, Brand Ambassador at the store he worked at. Usually, only management gets shirts with their names embroidered on them, but Casey has one with his name and title! This year he was awarded The Papa John's National Ambassador Award in Nashville, Tennessee.
We should all strive to be like Casey, for not only is he a hard worker at his job at Papa John's, he is very active in contributing to the community. For starters he works with two groups that rescue dogs, Tails of Hope Dog Rescue (https://www.tailsofhopedogrescue.com/), a non-breed specific rescue that specializes in medical cases and shelter dogs on the urgent list for euthanasia, and Animal Rescue Corps (https://animalrescuecorps.zenfolio.com/ ), a group that investigates large animal abuse situations and works with local law enforcement to recover the animals from those situations. Casey is known as the Dog Whisperer as he is the go-to-guy for skittish dogs; he is able to calm the dogs down better than almost anyone else.
Casey also spent three weeks after hurricane Katrina with Hands on USA Disaster Relief in Biloxi, Mississippi. There he not only passed out hand-made quilts for those who had lost almost everything, he helped put together boxes of essential items for the Salvation Army, and worked with a group that was tasked with relocating pets that were left behind (FEMA wouldn't let the families keep their pets). Casey brought home a kitten that they named Katrina, an apt name for a cat that was crazy and lived up to her namesake. A man of faith, Casey determined that he needed to teach Katrina the Bible since she needed Jesus. She became a completely different cat after he spent his time with her, and fourteen years later she is still with Casey.
In addition to his work with dog rescue, Casey has been collecting pop-tabs for Ronald McDonald House for about nine years. His first contribution was for 50 pounds of tabs, the second 93 pounds, the third for 291 pounds (which got him bragging rights that year for the most tabs donated by an individual over the age of seventeen), and he and his folks currently have over 250 pounds of tabs sitting in their garage. He is of course looking to set a new high on the number of tabs with his next donation.
But back to the shoe and why it needed a display case. As this shoe was the first shoe NOT to fit in one of our shoe cases (it is a size 22!), it obviously belonged to a very big man. The big man, Shaquille O'Neal, signed the shoe and presented it to Casey in Nashville in recognition of his being named National Brand Ambassador for Papa John's.
Now I'm not going to promise anyone that if they do what Casey has done, they will get a shoe signed by Shaq, but I do think that we all need to more like Casey. When Casey's time here on earth is done, he will be able to say that he went above and beyond to make the world a better place. My question to you is: Can you say the same? When is the last time YOU donated your time and energy to your community?