Bad News Media's Good Stories

This is not a news story about greed, profit and deceit - quite the opposite!

With the steady stream of bad news stories that pour out of the media one has to wonder why. We will be fed the kind of information that will arouse our interest and therefore sell more advertising for the producers. Shock sells because it attracts our attention and is likely to hold on to it in the details. That is unless we refuse to take part and turn our interests elsewhere, a path that I have chosen some time ago. It can be as simple as pressing on one of the remote buttons if it's the TV. As long as we allow ourselves to watch accounts of distressful and loathsome events we will continue to supply our mind banks with more anxieties.

There are pleasing and uplifting stories but they are too few and they do not catch our attention as well as the accidents and crimes. They do not have shock 'appeal'.

Here is one such story about success and the acquiring of true riches in helping others.

I visited the Price Pro store which recently opened in the Newton area of Surrey BC. This is a new sizeable warehouse style store which retails general merchandise including a large selection of foods. But it is not your regular retail outlet. Price Pro is staffed with kindly and helpful people who have substance abuse problems or trouble with the law. They are in a "life skills academy," program and live in a nearby transition home.

There is a unique tale behind the store's motto Save Money, Change Lives. It is not news about a successful tycoon that has gone from rich to richer to jail.

From Rags to True Riches.

As a teenager John Volken came to Canada with only a few dollars, plenty of energy and lots of smarts. He worked his way up from minimum wage jobs to become an extremely successful businessman with his United Furniture Warehouse chain across Canada and the US.

John Volken also had heart.

"Having achieved his financial goal, John remembered his time in the orphanage and his dreams to one day make a difference in the lives of those in need. He searched for areas of social neglect, and in 1995 began meeting with countless advocates of the disenfranchised community. All voiced the need for long term, residential based treatment facilities, which would teach life and job skills to addicts and alcoholics or any dysfunctional members of society. For 8 years John visited and researched such facilities in the United States and Europe.

In 2004 he sold his furniture business to direct his wealth and talent as a ‘social entrepreneur’. Within a year he established a life skills academy in Seattle, WA and in Vancouver, B.C., which he named “Welcome Home”.
. . . .

Welcome Home is a sanctuary where all who are committed to turn their lives around are welcomed.
It is a place where people overcome behavioural challenges and gain or regain their dignity.
It is a place where love, respect, and tolerance co-exist with responsibility, discipline and learning.
It is a place to overcome bad habits and learn skills needed to live healthy successful lives.
Perhaps, most importantly, it is a place to call Home.

When students graduate they receive a $5,000 grant and leave Welcome Home with a new ability to retain jobs, nurture families, manage finances, and the inner strength to successfully deal with life’s challenges."

Read more about Welcome Home.
Local News story: Newton store strives to change lives.

Update: A new $50,000,000 Home has recently passed local government approval after much neighbourhood concern and discussion.

Do you think we of this era are greedier and more self-centered than they were in prior decades or long ago? Surely there were mean spirited business types and insatiable consumers way back. Some cavemen must have beat others for a piece of meat - but for a leaner cut?

I believe we have been coached and prodded to accumulate more and more money, goods and services. Through continuous fine-tuned marketing, consuming citizens have had greed programmed into them like never before. But perhaps we are cresting in our ongoing intense desires for more.

Meanwhile let's look for the good stories.

Other posts about life values