It all started on November 6 with a simple school fundraiser–“Crunch Day for United Way“–in support of the Brant Food For Thought annual member agency campaign. St. Patrick School, which started a new healthy snack nutrition program in September, jumped at the opportunity to hold their first “Crunch Day”. And what a team effort it was! A parent from their School Council secured a donation of snack sized apples from Brantwood Farms for them to sell. Student volunteers made posters advertising Crunch Day, and sold apples to the students and to visitors who stopped in at the school. They invited parents to send in a donation of at least 25 cents to support the campaign.
St. Patrick School principal, Jennifer Rudyk, when asked about the fundraising event, shared the experience. “Some students made donations of $2.00 to $5.00 and shared their apples with their friends. What a great way to show friendship and coincide with Random Act of Kindness Day! A few students wandered next door to the Catholic Education Centre and sold apples to the Board Office staff. They loved having the students visit and very generously supported our cause. By the end of the day we raised $132.00 for the United Way. Thank you to Snack Program Coordinator, Erin Hope, for organizing this very successful event!”
The giving story doesn’t end there. Brant Food For Thought received a call from the Principal at Glen Morris School expressing that the students wanted to do a fundraiser to give back to their community. The students raised $150.00 in support of Brant Food For Thought and student nutrition programs. Thank you Glen Morris students for giving!
Brant Food For Thought received a generous in-kind contribution of non-perishable food items, such as Tricuit crackers, canned fruit, assorted cereals and wholesome granola bars. During their “Twelve Days of Presence”, Evangel Church of Brantford chose to partner with us to provide healthy snacks and meals for local student nutrition programs. Thank you to the church members for this wonderful in-kind donation valued at $370.00!
There was music in the air at Ecole Ste. Marguerite-Bourgeoys as the students prepared for their Christmas concert, held at New Life Assembly with a small fundraiser planned to support their universal student nutrition program. With parent Pat Bannister at the helm, friends and community connections rallied together to support the event. With generous donations from local businesses, 14 auction baskets were assembled and over 300 people gathered to enjoy an evening of festive sounds and music. When the proceeds were tallied, Ecole Ste. Marguerite-Bourgeoys raised an amazing $1,576.00 for their student nutrition program. Way to go Pat and her team of volunteers!
December was a busy month for the Brant Food For Thought staff team and volunteers. It was all hands on deck for the annual holiday gift wrap booth at the Lynden Park Mall. This major fundraiser in it’s 10th year of operation, ran for 25 consecutive days with shifts totalling 12 hours per day. School principals, teachers, parents, students and community volunteers were busy wrapping gifts of all shapes and sizes for mall patrons during the days leading up to Christmas. The booth situated across from the Bell store near Santa, offered a capacity of 8 wrapping stations. With hundreds of volunteers signed up to help, 36 schools and organizations supported by Brant Food For Thought contributed a total of 860 volunteer hours to running the booth. That’s incredible!
Community groups also gave a helping hand this season at the gift wrapping booth. Members of the Brant United Way GenNext, a team of young people in their 20’s and 30’s committed to giving back to the Brant community, “popped up” at the Brant Food For Thought gift wrapping booth to further their mission to give, volunteer and act. GenNext “Pop Up Volunteering” opportunities are classified as high-impact, lower-commitment opportunities to get involved in local charities and make a difference in the community. And the GenNext volunteers did just that by taking on a whole day of gift wrapping to support Brant Food For Thought and local student nutrition programs.
The season of giving continued! On December 5th, a Blue Wave of 9 volunteers swept in from FirstOntario Credit Union to contribute volunteer hours for an entire day of gift wrapping at the mall. A recent major corporate contributor through our Lead Agency, Haldimand-Norfolk REACH, FirstOntario Credit Union has provided significant financial contributions for student nutrition programs in Brantford and Brant. The gift wrap booth was alive with action mid-afternoon as the the Blue Wave volunteers faced local school Board staff and officials at the annual Celebrity Gift Wrapping Contest, So You Think You Can Wrap. Hosted by Brant Food For Thought, contestants took on a series of gift wrapping challenges, with prizes sponsored by Canadian Tire, Ludlow’s Mens Wear and B&D Embroidery Designs. A great time was had by all as the contest raised awareness of Brant Food For Thought and its work in the community.
Brant Food For Thought would like to take this opportunity to say a big “Thank You” to the many gift wrapping volunteers and patrons, the generous community individuals, young and old, charitable foundations, businesses and corporations of Brantford and Brant who have given selflessly of their time and resources this past holiday season. What started as a small random act of kindness in November with an apple given to a child unable to contribute 25 cents, snowballed to a grand total of $32,833.69! We are continually amazed by the generosity of this community. Thank you all for your ongoing support and for making a difference for children and youth in our community….again and again. This really was…the season for giving.