Handing out care packages to the homeless and other acts of kindness by Calgarians
Read heart-warming acts of kindness shared with CBC Calgary as part of our annual Food Bank Drive
Throughout the month of December, CBC stations across the country invite you to help Make the Season Kind as we celebrate the kindness of others with special programming and coming together in support of local charities.
In Calgary, for 37 years, residents have been donating to the Calgary Food Bank through CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Food Bank Drive, raising more than $22 million. This year, from Dec. 2 to 15, join us for special broadcasts, events, auctions and online sales while helping us reach our goal of $1 million to the Calgary Food Bank. Or attend one of our coffee and mug sales to make a donation and receive this year's limited edition One Knight Only mug and coffee beans from Fratello Coffee Roasters.
A new report says food banks in Canada have seen a major surge in visits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the high cost of living and ongoing economic disruption is bound to create countless new clients in the months ahead.
Click here to donate to the Calgary Food Bank
Many of us have been impacted financially by the pandemic, limiting us in ways we might traditionally contribute. But there are many opportunities to spread generosity and kindness aside from making monetary donations. You can also put a smile on your face — and the faces of others — by spreading acts of kindness in your community.
Share your story with us of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year and be entered to win a local prize pack. Your act of kindness may even be featured on CBC Calgary. No act of kindness is too big or too small.
Maybe you or someone you know picked up groceries for an elderly neighbour? Someone shoveled your walkway? Got a call from a long lost friend that made your day?
Here are some of the wonderful stories we've received so far, with thanks to all who wrote or called in to CBC Calgary — and even more, to all of those who are carrying out these random acts of kindness in the community. We'll share more of these heart-warming acts that have been shared with us in the days ahead, on the Calgary Eyeopener, The Homestretch, News at 6 and the CBC Calgary's website and Instagram.
One Christmas, my folks gave me a rechargeable car booster. It's the best gift ever. It's always in my glove compartment. When I'm out and about and see someone stranded who needs I boost, I just give it to them. Just this week, I was driving in Mission and a couple and their dog were stranded. They had called AMA who said they'd be by around 7 p.m. It was 3 p.m. when I was around there and it was a chilly day. I gave them a boost and they were on their way. This is something small I do for no reason other than I can help someone get back on their way. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
My dear friend Yamila, after 20 years of not seeing each other, learned that I was moving to Calgary with my daughter. She commenced her crusade of collecting things for us. From cooking equipment, beds, lamps, table, baking equipment, her generosity to set us up as a newcomers, and her willingness to help everone around her, is remarkable. Anytime she hears someone is in need, off she goes. Thank you Yamila from the bottom of our hearts.
For the last three years, I have been a volunteer at the MEOW Foundation's thrift store. My Saturday shift reminds me of the kindness in our city. While our lives are filled with days of work and family obligations, the MEOW volunteers find the time to collect, sort and clean donations or spend a shift greeting customers and ringing in sales all to support the cats in the shelter or those needing its services. My Saturdays are filled with kindness.
My mom moved to a supportive living facility a year ago. Many of the residents living there experiences various [degrees] of dementia, including my mother. The facility has communal dining arrangements and one of my mom's tablemate's daughter, Loretta, goes to join her mother every morning for breakfast. Loretta wonderfully chats with all the ladies at the table, encourages them to eat and has such a positive attitude. My mother often leaves there with a huge smile on her face. On several occasions, I have arrived there during breakfast to pick her up for an appointment and Loretta will share an update on how well my mother has eaten and whether she's taken her medication or not. She also advocates for my mother, even if it's in the simplest of ways, like making sure she has her sugar to go with her coffee or her jam to go with her oatmeal. She treats my mother and all the other ladies at that table like her own mother and I am so very grateful for her. I truly believe that my mother is much more content there because of Loretta's kindness.
My husband shovels our sidewalks and frequently does the neighbours' sidewalks on both sides of us.
I was leaving the Superstore. When I got to the parking lot there was a young mother with three young kids in her overflowing cart that was stuck in the snow. We all know how tough that is without kids in the cart. I could tell she was extremely stressed and worried about holding up traffic. I walked up and asked if she wanted me to push or pull. The look of relief on her face was priceless as she asked me to pull. Her kids pointed out the car for me while we got the cart through the snow. She thanked me and had tears in her eyes. It was worth every minute of helping her. All it takes is a little kindness and empathy when you see someone needing help.
My husband shovels the neighbour's sidewalk when they are away.
After getting their first summer job, my teenager felt they should be contributing to the community. They decided to make care packages to give out to homeless people asking for help. They researched online what best to include and made bags with socks, Band-Aids, snack bars, hand warmers, mini toiletry items and extra Ziploc bags to keep items dry. My husband and I carried them in our cars and gave them out around town to people asking for assistance. The packages were very well received and we now make them as a family and distribute them regularly. It is a small gesture but we hope it makes a difference. We are grateful to our teenager for thinking of this idea.
Again — you can share your story with us of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year through our online form here. You can also share your act of kindness by calling and leaving a message for the Calgary Eyeopener at 403-521-6209 or The Homestretch 403-521-6244.
You'll be entered in a chance to win prize packs that include:
- Julie Van Rosendaal's You Are Human and You Need Cake cookbook
- A Sunnyside Milk Jar candle
- A $50 gift card to Bowtie Pizza
- Custom cookies from Cookie Momster YYC
- Chocolate gingerbread people from cōchu Chocolatier
- A custom CBC stocking from One Apparel
- A wooden CBC-engraved tree ornament
- A 12oz bag of One Knight Only coffee beans from Fratello Coffee Roasters
- A limited-edition One Knight Only coffee mug
- CBC Calgary winter swag (socks, toque, scarf)
Deadline to enter to win is Thursday, December 15 at noon MT.
See the full schedule of events and more details about CBC Calgary's Make the Season Kind in support of the Calgary Food Bank here.