Monday to Thursday mornings, hours before the lunch bell rings in schools across our city, our downtown kitchen is filled with the joyful enthusiasm of volunteers making and delivering lunches for kids who would otherwise go without. The amazing volunteers in our kitchen and in community kitchens all over Calgary are the heads, hearts and hands that feed 2,900 kids each school day. We are so grateful and inspired by their tireless dedication and passion to help ensure there are no hungry kids in Calgary and proud to count each one of these people as part of the BB4CK community! This month three members of the BB4CK community, Laurie Tamagi, Reanna Sawatzky and Sandra Berner share their stories of how they help feed Calgary kids.
Laurie Tamagi has been delivering lunches as a volunteer driver with BB4CK for about a year. Interested in helping with a school lunch program in Calgary, Laurie discovered BB4CK online, inquired to see how she could help feed kids and has been delivering lunches since!
“BB4CK is effectively meeting a critical need in the Calgary community. This organization is highly professional, incredibly efficient and sincerely cares about making a real difference in the lives of Calgary’s youth. With BB4CK, I know my small contribution is a part of an important and meaningful effort having significant impact in our city. When I deliver the lunches, I have a unique opportunity to see our school communities in action. I meet teachers, administrators and support staff, all committed to ensuring their students are safe and cared for every day. As a former teacher and avid community volunteer, I’m inspired by the spirit and dedication of these schools and of the enthusiastic staff and volunteers at BB4CK – all working together in support of Calgary kids!” – Laurie Tamagi
Just over a year ago Reanna Sawatzky started volunteering in the downtown BB4CK kitchen. A friend who had previously volunteered with BB4CK had a great experience and recommended the kitchen when Reanna was looking for a local volunteer opportunity. Once a week Reanna visits the kitchen to help prep for lunches before she begins her work day.
“After travelling and volunteering abroad, I was drastically impacted by the poverty and suffering around the world. It pained me to see the situations that people were living in. After returning home and doing research into the poverty in Calgary I was very driven to get involved in helping out locally. It astonished me to find out how much of my own city needs a helping hand. Through BB4CK I feel like I can make a positive impact in my community. My favorite part about volunteering in the kitchen is the people and the impact that we make. The kitchen has a wonderful atmosphere and volunteering is always the highlight of my week. Hearing the stories about the positive change that BB4CK has made in communities, schools and people’s lives is amazing. To me, I view it as not only helping give kids what they need, but also showing them that there is a big group of people that deeply care about their well being.” – Reanna Sawatzky
Sandra Berner has been delivering lunches for 3½ months and is loving every minute! “If there is a need and I have the ability to help, what a perfect match!” says Sandra. When looking for volunteer opportunities Sandra jumped at the chance to help lunches make their way to Calgary students.
“It’s special to see firsthand how many people and companies in Calgary give their time, talents, food, donations, and gifts of selflessness to put together healthy lunches for children and youth each day, giving those students a better chance to enjoy their education and to succeed. It really is amazing and heart-warming. Kudos to the generosity out there and to the incredible coordination/organization/planning that is done to achieve the deliveries each day. I love that as a volunteer driver I get to pop into so many schools and see the terrific atmosphere that staff and students create. I love driving, helping, schools, and the bit of exercise that I get…. so it’s a fabulous volunteer opportunity. Thank you to other drivers who are friendly and helpful in the parkade each morning. Hats off to the kitchen staff who get up waaay too early to put it all together and clean it all up! Josh and Cathy’s warm smiles, care, hugs, organization and sunny greetings are such a wonderful way to begin a delivery. I look forward to seeing them each shift. They brighten every day! I am very happy and thankful to be a small part of such a great team!” – Sandra Berner