Hand sanitizer giveaway and fundraiser nets $8K for Whitehorse Food Bank

Yukon Brewing says it literally netted thousands of dollars in donations for the Whitehorse Food Bank in a drive-thru fundraiser that involved giving out bottles of hand sanitizer on Saturday.

People donated $8,556 and two bins full of food, according to Yukon Brewing

Hundreds of people donated to the Whitehorse Food Bank and got a bottle of hand sanitizer in return. (Steve Silva/CBC)

Yukon Brewing says it literally netted thousands of dollars in donations for the Whitehorse Food Bank in a drive-thru fundraiser that involved giving out bottles of hand sanitizer on Saturday. 

Hundreds of people drove through the parking lot of the Canada Games Centre, dropped money in a net attached to a pole, then took one bottle per vehicle off a table. People were not required to donate, but many did.

Yukon Brewing, which recently started producing hand sanitizer, partnered with the municipal government for the event. The company said it followed guidelines around physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, from the territory's chief medical officer of health.

"It's very useful right now and needed," said Jodi Tuton, a donor and a recipient.

"I think it's really great to see our community come together like this."

She said she had not had any luck finding hand sanitizer recently; those products have sold out quickly in several stores in the city over the past few weeks.

As of Wednesday, there have been seven cases in Whitehorse, one elsewhere in the territory, and four recoveries.

People donated $8,556 and two bins full of food, according to Heather Gillespie, Yukon Brewing's marketing manager.

The plan was to give away 500 bottles. By the time the last attendee left, 487 bottles were given out; the extras will go to first responders, she said.

"It meant a lot to us to be able to provide this to people, and we didn't see a reason, you know, to charge for it," Gillespie said.

Yukon Brewing gave out 487 bottles of hand sanitizer on Saturday. (Steve Silva/CBC)

The company first started giving hand sanitizer for free to first responders and the like, then to businesses that needed it for employees.

Yukon Brewing will eventually sell 500 ml bottles for $7 each in a one-per-customer fashion, Gillespie said.

Valerie Girard said she, too, has struggled to find hand sanitizer recently. That's not a huge problem because her family is staying home quite a bit, but she said she wants to have enough available should one of her family members have to go back to work.

To get to the hand sanitzer giveaway and fundraiser, drivers lined up on Whitehorse's Hamilton Boulevard. (Steve Silva/CBC)

She said she joined the lineup of cars at the Alaska Highway, and the entire journey took about 40 minutes to complete.

Girard said she thought attending the event would be a good way to get out of her home with her family and to socialize with others to some degree, but she mainly attended because she wanted to donate.

"We are privileged," she said. "Supporting the food bank … it's important for us."


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