It’s not what you think.
It’s not New Year’s Eve. It’s the daywhen I know, as Chair of PFC’s Fundraising Committee, if we’ve made our budget for the year. Last year was the best and we knew a bit before the 31st that we’d “made it”.
Like most charities, we get most of our donations in the month of December. It’s understandable since many folks only get around to looking at tax-eligible donations at year-end. I get it, it’s just stressful! Our fundraising committee (which is an awesome and eclectic group including a farmer, a pastor, a retired nurse, an events planner, a lawyer, and a mortgage broker amongst others) has been dreaming up for the last 2 years how we can convert more people to being monthly donors. This gives us a way to feel comfortable we will achieve our budget, without waiting for December 31 st each year.
Then it came to us.
What could be a stronger visual than 100 of our neighbours joining together to help 100 of our neighbours receive amazing fresh food, a welcoming place to visit, and wonderful programs put on by a kick butt group of staff and volunteers?
Our #100NEIGHBOURSSTRONG campaign was born.
We sent off our ideas to the amazing Jennifer Kwong who volunteers her time as our graphic designer. (Follow her on Instagram). When we asked some of our regular local business supporters to help by putting up red balloons and a poster and giving out postcards, each and every one of them said yes.
If you’ve never visited the Parkdale Food Centre, there are times when it’s so busy I have to step around folks to drop off whatever I’m popping in to get from the office or dropping off. I often say hello and recognize faces. I’ve been lucky enough to learn many names. The resilience and ability of every visitor to PFC, to share a smile, keeps us never stopping in our quest to do more.
Whenever you visit PFC you can’t help but feel something. It’s warmth and hope and there is usually some amazing smell coming out of the Don Flynn Community Kitchen. Our talented chefs arrive each day not knowing what they will be cooking. It might be a load of Hidden Harvest apples or Chef Pat Garland from Absinthe might have just dropped off a huge amount of ground beef. No matter the ingredients, their talent and creativity always culminate in a beautifully plated delicious meal.
Whenever I waver about asking my friends to donate more or worry we are asking too much of our community, I remember one boy. He was about the same age as my son. He was shy at first but we spent a bit of time as I went around shopping with him and his mom and sisters on a Food Bank day
when Karen wanted me to actually learn what it was like to use the Food Bank program. He was helping his mom load their bags carefully so the heavy items weren’t all in one bag. He knew he’d be helping to carry it home. He was also helping to keep his boisterous little sisters in order since they were having fun (as kids should be!). He was so polite. I really wanted to ask for a hug at the end since I felt such a connection with him. I was too shy to ask.
I am not too shy to ask you to consider becoming a monthly donor. We currently have all types of monthly donors. One is a new grad who donates 2 cartons of eggs on our Shopify Reverse Food Truck, for $8/month. One is my friend’s parent who gives $100 per month. Each and every one is unique.
For anyone on the fence and wondering about where the money is going:
It’s going to food.
We spend on average $10,000 a month in groceries on top of the truck-load of donations we get each Tuesday fr
om the Ottawa Food Bank and our neighbourhood retailers.
It’s going to staff.
A dedicated small group of compassionate individuals committed everyday to
helping provide not only food, but a smile and a set of ears to listen to how people are doing. I’ve got to go and turn my monthly donation back on, I’d “paused” it while I was on a work hiatus – but now it’s time to turn it back on. This community has it in them to be #100NEIGHBOURSSTRONG.
Join us and help us get to be #100NEIGHBOURSSTRONG by December 31st.
Learn more about our #100NEIGHBOURSSTRONG campaign here.