Outkicking my coverage in Key West

By Chris Johnson
Director of Communications

Time for some utterly selfish blogging … well, almost utterly selfish.

I’m taking off on Monday, April 2, for Key West, Fla. No I’m not going to scope out a spot on the island that will mark the end of the line for the East Coast portion of this year’s Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure. I’m not going to soak up rays or visit the Jimmy Buffett shrine of Margaritaville. (Although, I will do all of the above.)

No, I’m going to tie the knot with my fiancee Shellie before she wises up and changes her mind. I mean, everybody is very happy for me, but to a person everyone seems to wonder why she’s with me. I’ve wondered it for a good while myself. So, I’ve got to seal this deal before Shellie starts wondering. It’ll be Monday, April 2, on the beach at sunset. We thought about doing it that Sunday, but setting a date better known as April Fools Day seemed like it might be a bad omen.

I guess sometimes you just get lucky. And I’m definitely feeling lucky right now. Lucky to work for an enterprise whose sole mission is to help people, not to make a buck. Lucky that I get to tell success stories that practically tell themselves. Lucky to be back living in an area I consider home. Lucky to have a straight-A student in the sixth grade. Lucky to see my family and extended family grow. And lucky to have a bride who is not just beautiful, but also smart, fun, kind, outgoing and generous. We often preach how it’s better to give than to receive. Telling that to Shellie definitely is preaching to the choir.

When Shellie first met my colleagues back in the newspaper business, a co-worker made the comment: “Wow, Chris, you really outkicked your coverage!” It’s a football metaphor that essentially means you’ve aimed way higher than you can justify. At The Fuller Center, I got a similar reaction but with fewer sports metaphors when folks met Shellie. As Fuller Center President David Snell, my boss, said more straightforwardly: “Shellie’s really nice. What’s she doing with you?”

Of course, he followed that with a smile to let me know he was merely cutting up (as we are wont to do on occasion) … or he was genuinely confused as to why she’s with me. Either is completely understandable.

I’m lucky enough and don’t need much more, which is why we’ve asked all friends and family who want to give us any kind of wedding gift to instead donate to The Fuller Center for Housing in honor of our marriage.

Not only is it something we want as people who already have a simple, decent home, but it’s great for givers, too. They don’t have to shop for something like a fondue pot, and, yet, they can show they care about us and help others at the same time, giving them more than one way to feel the joy of giving. Plus, it’s so easy to give online … and you don’t have to wrap it.

I hope more people will use this easy alternative giving option. You can do it for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. You can give in your will through planned giving. You can do it in memory of lost loved ones. Giving is truly the greater blessing than receiving.

So, if you’d like to donate in honor of someone, such as a guy who has definitely outkicked his coverage, please click the button below.

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