I once walked the Peloponnese to raise money for a Canadian
charity called Sleeping Children Around the World. I was looking
for a feat of daring and endurance to take on before a big change
I was about to undertake… called marriage.
That was August 1993.
I had been inspired by Murray Dryden. It just so happens he is the
father of two NHL goalies, the more famous of whom is Ken
Dryden. Murray was an angel and a hero who dedicated his retire-
ment to getting many thousands of third world children into their
So I got a bunch of people to sponsor me. All I had to do was walk
the length of the Peloponnese, from Patra to Githio, which is about
183 miles according to Google Maps. It took me twelve days of no
fewer than twelve hours walking daily, so I suspect it’s actually a bit
farther. Lots of miles of switchbacks. On the grand scale of things it
was a minor accomplishment, but for me a great adventure…and
dare I say challenging?
During the first few days, my poor shoe selection resulted in my
feet being covered in blisters and moleskins, and my ankles and
knees and hips flaring up to the point of agony. It was absolutely
ridiculous. I got out of bed on the sixth morning and could hardly
walk. Never mind the pain…how was I going to make 23 miles
today? How would I be able to get my carcase moving at a
sufficient speed to cover the distance even if I put in fourteen
hours of hard, hot slogging?
I got to thinking a lot about desire and determination and quitting
and not quitting. I never seriously considered quitting, but I did
wonder what would happen if I just stopped walking. The heat
was intense, well into the 90s, but dry. The sun was punishing.
I had a bandana and straw hat protecting my head, and around
1 PM every day I was covered in heat rash.
There were a few thoughts that kept me going:
1. I thought of Caesar’s legions marching over the Alps in
winter each carrying 50 lbs on their backs
2. I thought of all the kids who would be getting their
bedkits if I could just finish my mission
3. I kept thinking the ridiculously simple but compelling
thought…”Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll
4. I chanted the Buddhist chant: Nam-yo-ho-rang-gyay-kyo
for hours. I didn’t know what it meant but it was pleasingly
This year I’m promoting a song to help Sleeping Children Around
the World. They are closing in on their millionth bedkit, and I want
to put my shoulder to the wheel. I’m not selling the song. You can
listen to it absolutely free. But I’m asking you, if you are so inspired
to buy a bedkit for a kid who needs it. It costs $35 Canadian and
every dollar and every penny goes into the bedkits. Sleeping
Children Around the World is volunteer run, and so 100% of
donations goes directly to the recipients. You will receive a photo
of the actual child who is being helped by you along with your
donor number, so you know they’re not monkeying around.
Donate to Sleeping Children Around the World here:
Please send me a screenshot indicating that you have made a
donation. This will help me to promote the song through Ariel
About the song. It’s called ‘Christmas Morning’. I wrote it in 1994.
George Milbrandt, proprietor of ¿C’est What?, a Toronto bar asked
me and a few songwriters to write a new song and present it on a
The song starts out with a memory of an unhappy boy who longs
for a happy Christmas and the family to go with it. Next verse he
remembers an idyllic Christmas he once spent as a teenager with a
beloved cousin. It is remembered as the best Christmas ever,
including dancing barefoot in the snow — all true!
Finally, he sings with trembling excitement of his hopes for
Christmas with his own young child.
Hear it here.
Donate to Sleeping Children Around the
And please send me proof that you have donated.
I will talk to you again early in the New Year.
Tom St. Louis