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December 7, 2017

December Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Louise and Jessica, two of our fantastic volunteers who help make and deliver lunches to kids across our city.

Last September, Louise began volunteering as a driver, delivering lunches to schools, up to 3 times per week. Occasionally you can find Louise volunteering her time in the kitchen as well!

“Several years ago a BB4CK spokesperson came to my former place of work and told us about the organization, and our social committee decided to volunteer as a team-building session.  More recently, after facing a job layoff, I knew I wanted to start volunteering but was unsure for which organization. That very same day, BB4CK was featured on a 6pm news program and the bulb lit up – this was the organization for me!

I believe children (and seniors for that matter) are the most vulnerable of our citizens and the thought of a child going hungry distresses me for all the known reasons.  I certainly cannot save every child, but this is a little bit I can do to help. It makes me feel good to be able to give my time to such a good cause. It is a good use of my spare time and makes me feel like I am contributing to society and to a good cause.  In addition, I love the people involved in this organization, they are outgoing positive people with big hearts and are always so appreciative of each other, their volunteers, and of course, they are passionate about the children they are helping.”

Favorite lunch as a child? The first one that comes to mind was my mom’s homemade beef barley soup – it was more like a stew – it was full of vegetables (although I probably did not realize it at the time) and yummy beef and chewy barley, just a great combo.

Jessica began volunteering in August of 2016 once a week. Then two days a week, and now volunteers at our downtown kitchen three mornings each week.

“My role varies with the day and the people I am volunteering with. I arrive around 6:30am and help clean and set up the kitchen for the daily lunch making. After this, I slice the meat and cheese, set out the sandwich buns, or make the tuna and/or egg salads.

In August of 2016, there was a news story that came out of Ohio where a young boy was trying to sell his teddy bear so that he could buy food. The story broke my heart. Up until that point, my schedule did not allow much flexibility to commit to a volunteer position and I simply donated money instead of time. However, something about this story hit closer to home. While I appreciate that organizations still need funding, they also need people to volunteer their time to help grow these types of programs and reach as many people in need as possible. My volunteer orientation was scheduled within 48 hours and I arrived in the kitchen the following week; I have never been happier to donate my time to such a wonderful organization and cause.

The people are my absolute favourite part about volunteering in the BB4CK kitchen! I have met some wonderful people who are fun to get the day started with, stories and laughter – almost better than coffee! I have been blessed to meet such generous, caring, and inspiring people!”

Favorite lunch as a child? A simple black forest ham with mustard is all my heart wanted. Of course, as a kid, I couldn’t resist the Gushers that usually accompanied the healthier options!

November 23, 2017

Feeding Hungry Kids with Made Foods

Each week, the wonderful team at Made Foods prepares lunches for children in their neighbourhood.

Conversations between Made Foods and BB4CK began in May of 2017, and Made Foods quickly hopped on board to help feed kids during the summer months through the Food Finder YYC pilot. “We visited the BB4CK kitchen and started packing food, learning more about the organization, about how they help kids who go to school hungry. That visit was a big part of why we really wanted to partner with BB4CK to help them and help the kids.” Says Made Foods President, Chris Dobson.

“Over the summer, we made about 100 brown bag meals a week. Every Thursday, our office staff would come down and help package it up for us,” says Andrea Harling, Vice President and Executive Chef at Made Foods. As the summer progressed, Made moved from creating 100 meals to 60 meals a week. When the Food Finder pilot ended, Made was quick to partner with a neighbouring school, Third Academy, to provide 25 lunches three times a week to hungry children there.

Third Academy is a community school that offers specialized services and supports to address special education needs. At Third Academy, the lunches are a huge success, with the children finishing every bite! The teachers praise the healthy meals brought for the children in their BB4CK program and are so grateful for the support and care of Made Foods.

“The best part of it is that you get to see your meals and your food going out to help people, especially children. I don’t think kids should ever go hungry, especially going to school. You know it allows a certainty when they’re at the school, knowing that they’re going to have a meal show up,” says Dobson.

“Giving back to the community always makes a company feel better, and I don’t just mean the business itself, I mean everyone who works there,” says Harling. “Starting a program like this is not as hard as everyone thinks. With great organizations like Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, it’s pretty simple. They say this is what we need and from our side, it is logistically being able to put it together while understanding your own business needs. There’s always someone who can give you some advice on how to get started.”

In September, Made hosted an in-store fundraiser at one of their locations to help raise awareness and funds for BB4CK. Jennifer Taylor, Marketing & Event Specialist, shares that “helping can be in any capacity, whether it’s volunteering, helping at your own facility, or by hosting a once off event, there are a lot of different ways you can encourage your team to get creative to make a difference!”

November 22, 2017

Gifts, Experiences, and Events Supporting Calgary Kids!

Searching for wonderful gifts to share with your friends and family this year? Some of our awesome friends are helping to feed and care for Calgary kids with some great items and experiences:

#GiftALunch! Give a gift in honour of a loved one that will change the life of a child in our city. You can give a gift in any amount you choose, every dollar helps ensure every Calgary child has a healthy lunch at school!

Make a statement with a purpose. Pick up a hand crafted Playfield bracelet – 10% of Playfield’s gross profits help feed kids. They also have a great ATB Boostr campaign on now.

 For every gift card sold in December by our fabulous friends at Made Foods (check out their feature video here) 10% of proceeds help feed kids through BB4CK!

When out for a meal check the menu for Mealshare items! When a customer orders a Mealshare item, they get their meal, and also help provide one meal to a youth in need! Find the full list of Calgary Mealshare Partner restaurants here.

Through a partnership with Freedom Fit Pass and Nutri-Go, when you order from Nutri-Go and reference Freedom Fit Pass, 10% of your order will be donated to BB4CK!

Join Pigeonhole for Bubbles and Pearls every Monday night. Champagne and Caviar for $100 with proceeds going to help feed kids.

Connect with Blanco Security to discuss protection for your home and business. They are helping to feed hungry kids with every new client they get this year.

Looking to get your home or business painted? This year, CertaPro Painters of Calgary North will be providing a donation to support Calgary charities; clients have the option of choosing to direct their support to BB4CK.

YYCBox is a quarterly subscription box highlighting amazing vendors and artisans right here in YYC! Indulge guilt free knowing that in addition to enjoying some pretty neat gifts, you are supporting local. If that’s not enough, know that a portion of all funds will be giving back to BB4CK, so future YYC-ers can reach their full potential and keep this city original!

5 Vines has created an International Whisky Guild. For every bottle of whisky sold through the Guild, a donation will be made to purchase a lunch for a student who would otherwise go without.

BB4CK is the grateful recipient of the charity tap at Fergus & Bix this holiday season!

Wrap your bouquet from Small Flower floral studio in lovely burlap for an extra $2 and help feed kids in our city!

Check our Vada Beauty – gemstone bracelets for a cause! Every bracelet purchased will have proceeds going to help ensure every kid has a healthy lunch.

Jewelry designer mlk. has created a gorgeous 4Kids bracelet, with $20 from each purchase going to help provide healthy lunches for hungry kids. Buy a bracelet and provide healthy lunches for a kid for a month!

Wholistic Health YYC is hosting a “Managing Holiday Stress and Boosting Productivity for Entrepreneurs” workshop on Dec 6. Event entry is a donation to BB4CK! Register here.

Join Nicole with Mini Me Yoga Calgary on Saturday December 10th and 17th for a FREE children’s yoga class! Simply bring a donation of pre-packaged snack items to the demo class for BB4CK and in turn your children will enjoy 45 minutes of fun and yoga! Space is limited so register your mat here.

Join the Whisky Wisemen and ONE18 Empire on the third Thursday evening of each month for their social event. 10% of sales from the evening are directed to help feed kids in our city.

Purchase tickets to Midnight in Paris, a New Years Eve party to remember, and a proceed of ticket purchases will support BB4CK!

Get your tickets for PlateSwap! On January 17, 2018, top chefs from around the world come together to create interpretations of each others’ signature dishes with event proceeds benefiting BB4CK!

Grab tickets to February’s Love & Chocolate YYC event, a celebration of the most delicious chocolate our city has to offer on February 16 and 17, 2018, with a percentage of ticket sales helping to feed kids in our city.

November 20, 2017

November Volunteer Spotlight

November Volunteer Spotlight

Chris and David

Meet David and Chris, two friends and co-workers who each spend one early morning a week in the downtown BB4CK kitchen, sharing fun and laughter as they help prep lunch items for the day ahead.

In 2013, David first visited the BB4CK kitchen and turned that visit into four years of volunteering with us.

“I came in as part of a corporate group in October of 2013, loved the morning working in the kitchen, loved the program, so I emailed Wendy looking to come in regularly and have been coming in Thursday morning since. I’m a Thursday regular, I run the deli slicer holding court in the back of the kitchen. Slicing the cheese, turkey, and ham for the sandwiches, hundreds of slices a morning.

I was fortunate enough to always have a sandwich for lunch at school growing up, even sharing my lunch with classmates. It is very important to me that as many kids as possible don’t have to worry about where to get their next meal. BB4CK does a great job of getting as many sandwiches out to as many schools as possible.”

Favorite part about volunteering in the kitchen? Making some good friends, also receiving plenty of sass from the crew.

Favorite lunch as a child? Cold cut and cheese sandwich 🙂 Turkey through high school, honey ham in university.

Chris discovered BB4CK through our past Executive Director, Bob McInnis, and for the past three years, Chris has filled the BB4CK kitchen with his unique sense of humour as he helps us prepare for the day.

“I started volunteering because I worked with Dave and refused to be out-volunteered by him! I usually arrive to the kitchen 15 minutes late, DJ, make dad jokes, cut celery, unbag carrots, and wash apples on Wednesdays. I don’t make sandwiches because of my inferior mayonnaise schmearing skills. Then I bid adieu to everyone in a very dramatic way. There’s a good chance that having me there uses more resources than if I were to stay home.

I strongly believe that private charity and helping one another voluntarily is far more effective at fixing societal problems than any government program can be, it’s a core belief that I hold. Helping kids achieve their full potential is also a great way to help them succeed, and a good lunch is important to making that happen. There’s really no better way to achieve both those things than volunteering at, and donating to, BB4CK!”

Favorite part about volunteering in the kitchen? Being on the receiving end of a whole lot of sass from the Wednesday crew.

Favorite lunch as a child? A homemade BLT, yummm.

Help a child

No matter how big or small your contribution, each dollar you donate will provide lunch for a hungry child.

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Volunteer

This year…

4200

Kids Impacted Daily

625

People Volunteering Weekly

1500

Partners and Donors