"That feeling of giving back was very much felt"
Avenue Living Communities is committed to giving back to organizations that provide essential services and a better quality of life for those who need support.
Earlier this week, nine of the company's senior leadership team took part in making sandwiches for Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids - a grassroots-focused and community-funded organization that works with people throughout the city to feed kids who would otherwise go without a healthy lunch at school.
"We all thought that it was a great experience and it was a really easy way to give back and there was an immediate satisfaction. The lunches that we made in the morning, the kids were eating by lunch time," says Zora Roberts, President of ALC, who volunteered for duty in making sandwiches on Monday. "That feeling of giving back was very much felt."
"We really couldn't miss out on the opportunity to make lunches in the morning that will feed approximately 4,400 Calgary kids in the afternoon who may have gone all day without food at school. Additionally, making lunches for hundreds of kids who will not have had a lunch at school in a city like Calgary is a good feeling and it gives you a sense of being a part of the solution in helping make Calgary a better city.
"We're across 18 communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and our philosophy is to be involved with the grassroots of every community. So we try to be involved in every community that we have assets in as much as we possibly can. Our involvement varies in many different facets."
The other senior leadership involved in the volunteer event were: Mark Nixdorf, Senior VP of Sales; William Akoto, Director of Marketing; Marina Post, Senior VP of Accounting; Andrew Searby, Chief Financial Officer; Aman Bhalla, VP of Operations; Shelley Allchurch, General Counsel; Todd Bassett, Chief Human Resources Manager; and Neal Shannon, Vice President of Capital Projects.
The senior leadership team's day began at 7:30 a.m. making tuna, peanut butter and jelly, turkey and ham sandwiches. They then packed snacks for the kids which included fruits, energy balls, and vegetables. Following a thorough cleaning of the kitchen, their volunteer work ended at about noon.
"We made approximately 1,300 lunches," says Roberts.
Brown Bagging says it's aware of more than 4,000 kids who go to school without a healthy lunch each day – an increase of more than 1,000 kids (more than 30 per cent) in the last 12 months. BB4CK feeds kids in kindergarten through Grade 12 and the organization is anticipating the need will continue to grow this year.
It has more than 600 volunteers each week at kitchens spread throughout the city.
"Calgary has so many strengths. One of which is companies that intentionally invest into the community with their time, treasure and talent. Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids (BB4CK) feeds and cares for well over 4,000 hungry kids every day with the help of many companies in our city. We could not care for these kids without the help of these people. Together, we are working towards no hungry kids and are so grateful to companies like Avenue Living that join us in making this happen," says Tanya Koshowski, executive director of BB4CK.
It was the first year Avenue Living has taken part in this and the experience was so positive and impactful that the company is considering this as an annual event.