Singer donates proceeds to food bank, stranger buys groceries 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 a coming together in support of local charities.
In Calgary, for 35 years, residents have been donating to the Calgary Food Bank through CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Food Bank Drive, raising more than $20 million. This past Thursday, CBC Calgary's Blitz Day officially hit its goal as part of our annual drive to raise spirits — raising $1 million in donations for the Calgary Food Bank.
Share your story with us of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year and — as part of our Food Bank Drive — be entered to win a local prize pack. We'll share more of these heart-warming acts that have been shared with us in the days ahead, on CBC Calgary radio programs Calgary Eyeopener and The Homestretch, CBC Calgary's website and social media. Here are some of the wonderful stories we've received so far.
From Julia Millen
"One of the things I enjoy the most is choral singing. While I work full-time in an unrelated job, singing is my avocation. 2020 is at least the 10th year of donating my professional singing gig money to the Calgary Food Bank via the CBC Food Bank Drive. With my donation this year, I calculate that I have donated approximately $35,000 of singing money to date, which has been multiplied many times over by the good work that is done through the food bank. Singing has a way of spreading joy, and I try to share that not only with audiences but also by giving back to the community."
From Glennie McKirdy
"I am a fused glass artist. For my birthday, in May (I am 74), I decided to make and give away glass hearts. I call them Hearts for Hope in Uncertain Times. I handed out and mailed more than 100 hearts — and still counting. I gave them to family, neighbours, friends, strangers, acquaintances, community workers and other brave souls. They are beautiful and heartwarming and they make people smile and feel special. Thanks!"
From Jovin Khunkhun
"My mom was making masks for family and friends and I was in the process of working on a [project for Scouts]. My brother and I discussed different ideas and thought of, what if we made more masks and asked people to pay it forward? With the help of my parents and brother we started making masks and giving them to people and the donations and donation receipts started coming in. Since April of this year, we have made more than 2,000 masks and had more than $19,000 in donations that were made to the food bank, animal shelters, other charities and, most recently, purchases of winter clothing that have been donated to schools and family groups. Some individuals donated directly to us and all of those funds also went back into the community. We also had some organizations and individuals reach out to us that they were struggling and we offered them masks they requested and asked them not to pay back monetarily but through acts of kindness. The material for the masks was purchased with funds that we had made through lawn cutting and yard work in the neighbourhood and then we got a large donation from Hippo Hugs and a $500 grant from the city of Calgary."
From Ashlea Wilmott
"I will be forever grateful to the kind folks who stopped to assist when my car blew a tire on busy Crowchild Trail. Multiple people stopped to inquire if I needed assistance, but one man went above and beyond as he not only pulled over but got out of his vehicle, reflective vest in hand, to change the tire on the side of the road. This was particularly poignant as I had my scared and cold three-year-old with me! He told me not to worry and to stay safe at a distance from the busy traffic with my son, while he pulled out the necessary equipment to take on the task of my shredded tire. Moreover, as my son began to get cold, the kind stranger produced blankets from his vehicle to keep us warm while he worked. Ultimately, he stayed until my ride could come and pick us up off the side of the road. He showed nothing but genuine selflessness as he told me and my in-laws who had come to rescue us it was, 'No trouble, I have all afternoon to help!' Two days later, and my son is still talking about the 'kind man with blankets who fixed the broken car.' I would love to be able to track him down to properly express my gratitude for his empathy that day!"
From Kajsa Erickson
"I was in line at a Sunterra grocery store with my daughter, picking up a few items after school. When I went to pay, I was deeply embarrassed that I had forgotten my wallet. I was trying to quietly let the cashier know that I was unable to pay, and I would put my groceries back, when a kind gentleman behind me observed what was happening. Without hesitation or fuss, he paid for my groceries and wished my daughter and me well. I thanked him profusely, and we all went on our way. What he didn't know was that as a single mom who had just lost her job, that his act of kindness meant the world to us. I'll always remember his kindness, and will find my ways to pay it forward."
From Nancy Colp
"On Nov. 4 my 10-year-old dog, Timmy, passed away very unexpectedly at home. It was a very traumatic experience. As it was evening, I had to wait until morning to call my vet. The staff at Westhills Veterinary Clinic were so kind and helpful in planning the cremation and next steps. I take transit, so I was worried about how I was going to manage to transport Timmy's body on my own. A staff member at the clinic volunteered to come and pick up Timmy for me. When they called back to let me know the person was on their way, they told me not to worry about the bill for the autopsy, cremation and the urn, because an anonymous person had paid for the entire bill. I still to this day have no idea who it was. I'm so grateful to this person and wish I could thank them. It was not just one act of kindness from one person that day but many acts of kindness from many different people. It renewed my faith in humanity during this very tough year of 2020. It reminded me that kindness and compassion are some important key foundations that we can all work on every day. What I think you are doing here is amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story."
From Allie Laurent
"We recently moved to Wildwood, and we have a neighbour named Barry who has lived on our street since he was a child. He bought the house he grew up in and is now, I'm guessing, in his 70s. Despite that, Barry takes it upon himself to snow blow the snow for our whole side of the street every time it snows. All the way up to your front door. When he can't do it for whatever reason, his son has cleared the snow for us. When I thanked him for it, he just said 'Oh, that's just what I do.' It's really appreciated on those cold snowy mornings. Thanks Barry."
From Irene Forsey
"I received an act of kindness in August of this year. I was among several redeployed health-care workers swabbing for COVID-19. We were working outside at the public health site in Lethbridge. It was very hot (close to 35 C) with little shade. We were ending our shift of swabbing a few hundred nostrils for COVID-19 when staff from Bloomdiggity Floral Shop here in Lethbridge dropped off a bouquet of flowers for each of use swabbing that day with just a nice note saying they cared about us. It was the nicest and most completely random thing of kindness I was the grateful recipient of in a very strange time in health-care. My deepest gratitude to the staff at that floral shop."
From Randy Brodeur
"Effia and Chloe, my simply amazing daughters, have a Christmas tradition that has warmed my heart for the past eight years. Here is how it goes. We pack lunches and simple hygiene product parcels, usually Christmas Eve, for less fortunate people living on Calgary's streets. We then drive around downtown on Christmas Day and offer the gifts to anyone who wants them. The girls always give a kind smile, a heartfelt hug or a handshake, along with the gifts. I can't express just how proud I am that this tradition has become the most important part of the holiday season for the girls. Chloe and Effia truly understand that Christmas is not about what you get, but what you give. Although this year will be different from years past, no hugs or handshakes, we will continue to reach out and offer a kind word, a genuine smile, and a simple gift from the heart."
From Natalie Veldhoen
"I am a single mom with twins born in March. I have relied on the generosity of my friends and neighbours to help get through the year. My neighbours Pat and Laszlo have been amazing throughout this whole year, helping with snow shovelling, taking care of my garbage and recycling, mowing the lawn and most recently they have been bringing my dinner to my door twice a week just to give me a little break. I don't know how I would have made it through the year without them."
To read more heart-warming stories like these, see:
- MAKE THE SEASON KINDA landlord gives free rent to all tenants, a family receives a month of groceries and other acts of kindness
- MAKE THE SEASON KINDA stranger pays a veteran's dental bill, teens give free concerts and other acts of kindness by Calgarians
Again — you can share your story with us of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year with an online form here or by using the hashtag #CBCFeedsYYC on Instagram or Twitter. 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. The contest ends Dec. 24.
Whichever way you choose, you'll be entered to win a local prize pack, which include:
- A limited-edition CBC Calgary x Local Laundry holiday crewneck.
- A 36-piece box of salted caramel chocolates from Master Chocolate.
- Julie Van Rosendaal's Dirty Food cookbook.
- An Inspirati tea towel.
- A Milk Jar diffuser.
- A $50 gift card to Bowtie Pizza.
- A 12 oz. bag of One Gray Knight coffee beans from Fratello Coffee Roasters.
- A limited-edition One Gray Knight coffee mug.
- CBC Calgary winter swag (blanket, toque, scarf, mittens, retro socks).
Click here to donate to the Calgary Food Bank.
See the full schedule of events, contests, auction items, partners and more for the CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Calgary Food Bank Drive here.