The Accredited Businesses Care 2016 Holiday Food Drive
What started out as a fun little office activity for BBB staff in 2015, turned into a massive community-building charitable effort in 2016 as hundreds of people came together to support food banks in Calgary, Okotoks, Airdrie and Lethbridge.
The Accredited Businesses Care 2016 Food Drive was, actually, sort of a surprise. What was intended as an invitation to donate a prize or two to encourage food donations became an incredible show of kindness and support from our Accredited Businesses.
“I sent out an email request to our Accredited Businesses,” says Camie Leard, VP of Marketing and Communications. “And within a half-an hour I had five businesses get back to me with offers of prizes and wanting to be drop-off locations. By the end of three days, we had more than $5,000 in prizes from more than 20 businesses. It was really very moving how much everyone wanted to become involved.”
|Prize Donors - Clockwise from top left: ABL Imaging, Emerson Clarke Printers, Data Trail, Downward Dog Grooming, IAP Career College, About Staffing, Sprouse Fire and Safety, Electronic Recycling Association, Go Dental (centre).|
With eight official drop-off locations and a number of un-official collection points, BBB, Accredited Businesses and their clients and staff set about to reach a lofty goal of 2,000 lbs of food: 10 times the amount BBB staff raised in 2015.
|Drop-off Locations - Clockwise from top right: Downward Dog Grooming (Airdrie), About Staffing, Arpi's Industries, Resolve Legal Group (Cochrane and Okotoks), Sunik Roofing.|
Some businesses offered discounts on food products for donation, others ran contests for their staff, still others offered to go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods to ask for donations and some sent cheques.
“It was really impressive to see this group of businesses come together in a way we haven’t done before,” says Leard. “I was struck by the enthusiasm and generosity of our businesses and their staff and customers.”
|Getting Creative: BBB Accredited Business Westmount Animal Clinic offered its pet food at cost for customers to donate to the Food Bank. They raised a whole Calgary Food Bank donation box and then some!|
BBB staff, of course, had a tradition to uphold and set out to design displays of food donations to be judged by the board of directors. We had a Whoville Tree and a Flying Bee (the winner); a cozy fireplace, a partying minion, a super-cute choo-choo and a shopping dog.
By the time collection day came around, Campbell’s Moving was on board to bring all of the food in from the various locations back to BBB. Combining what they collected with BBB staff contributions, drop-offs from various businesses and pick-ups in Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and Lethbridge, BBB was hopeful it had met its goal. When all was said and done, here are the results:
|Collection Day: Our friends at BBB-Accredited Campbell Moving with BBB President and CEO Mary O'Sullivan-Andersen.|
“We just want to extend our deepest gratitude to our Accredited Businesses for showing us that even in a tough economic climate, they’re ready willing and able to come together as a community to help those in need,” says Leard. “In fact, we’re so impressed, we’re looking at other ways we might be able to work as a group of businesses to contribute to the communities we serve."
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