Back in November, Diane Smitten was trying to plan what to do for her 65th birthday. Hoping to make a difference in her community, Diane reached out to her friends and family through social media with the goal of raising enough money to sponsor 65 meals at Boyle Street Community Services.
A prolific volunteer, Diane had worked with Boyle Street before through Compassion Edmonton and Santa YEG. Volunteering is also how Diane met Hayley Ferland, Managing Partner at Original Joe’s Oxford Park location.
“Taking care of people is our core purpose at Original Joe's,” said Hayley. “We really strive to do that in every way we can. The core values we live and breathe have the acronym of Hearts which we think is pretty suiting (Honesty, Empathy, Always welcoming, Remarkable consistency, Taking care of the community, Safety).”
Diane's plan to raise enough money to donate 65 meals to Boyle Street was born, and Original Joe’s generously agreed to cook and deliver the meals to our community members. In no time, Diane exceeded her fundraising goal, thanks to the support of her friends and family:
“I’m grateful to be able to help those who are less fortunate and so thankful to all my friends who donated and made this fundraiser such a success,” exclaimed Diane. “And a big thank you to Original Joe’s for making this possible.”
In the past, all the Original Joe’s locations in Edmonton delivered meals and warm clothing to Boyle Street through Santa YEG's Delivering Compassion program.
Thanks to Diane’s donations, Original Joes cooked and delivered meals to our Community Centre two days a week for the month of June. These deliveries provided a reliable, ongoing supply of delicious meals to everyone at our Community Centre. Further, they helped our Food Services Coordinator and Cook, Ani, take a few days off and prepare meals for the weekend instead!
Hayley from Original Joe’s spoke to the importance of supporting our community through fundraisers such as this:
“I personally have family members who need your services and understand how limited funds are, especially with the difficulties the pandemic has brought. We just want to help in the ways we know best, and that is food and people. The world is a better place when we lift each other up, and we believe in our community. Diane is a prime example of that, and we were more than happy to join in!