There’s a pandemic of kindness sweeping throughout Langley, says Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.
“Its reach is far and wide and perhaps more contagious than COVID-19,” she teased. “Symptoms to look for include feverish generosity, a rash of benevolence and heart-warming flutters of activity.”
After school closures threatened to let Langley students go hungry, the foundation stepped up to continue their Food for Thought programs by altering their in-school meals and services to gift card donations so families had the resources to purchase healthy meals during the pandemic.
“The pandemic of kindness manifested itself in a series of unprecedented donations,” Cairns noted. “Infinity Properties immediately sent out a challenge to all their vendors and suppliers, and they responded with an ensuing donation of more than $25,000.”
She added that Spake Media threw down the gauntlet and dozens were there to match the $10,000 challenge.
And it didn’t stop there.
The Foundation received grants from Vancouver Sun Adopt-a-School, Breakfast Club of Canada, Loblaws and Save-On Foods, amounting to more than $150,000.
At the same time donations kept coming in from a never-ending list: VWR Capital, Shewan Foundation, Western Water Farms, Premium Brands, Horizon Landscape, Envision Financial, Darnell & Co. Law, Valley Traffic, Mitsubishi, Langley Advance/Times, Viaduct Sheet Metal, CHP Architects, Township of Langley, United Churches of Langley, Township of Langley Firefighters Charity, Langley Rotary Sunrise, Aldergrove Rotary, Tzu Chi Foundation, Sudden Impact, BIZ Canada, Freshco, Super Save Group, Re/Max, Fred Welsh Industries, Jewish Foundation, and the Langley Principal Vice-Principal Association (LPVPA).
Beatniks Bistro is the latest in that growing list of donations, giving $4,000 to the Food for Thought program late last month.
Angela Hazelton, general manager of Beatniks, said every year her restaurant donates a percentage of profits to one or more charities.
“We learned about this program through the rotary club as we have participated in their fundraising events in the past,” Hazelton said. “I can’t think of a better charity than one that feeds kids and their families.”
It is so amazing when a local business (that we love so much) steps up to help our community in difficult times! Thank you so very much @BeatniksBistro for your donation of $4000 to the Food for Though Program. You have made a difference & we are grateful. https://t.co/eavZQQ0Rgc pic.twitter.com/sAFvMgp1Wp
— SD35 Foundation (@SD35Foundation) May 29, 2020
While Cairns said the Foundation is profoundly grateful to all its donors, help is still needed.
“We started the program on April 6 and are now into our 11th week,” she noted. “We are spending more the $32,500 every week with a commitment to continue on with our program until September or October of next year and maybe beyond.”
Cairns estimated the foundation is helping out 650 Langley families through the program, offering $50 gift cards to grocery stores such as Save-On-Foods.
If people are interested in donating, they can do so online at www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com on the Food for Thought page.
People can also send cheques to Langley School District Foundation, 4875-222nd Street, Langley, BC V3A 3Z7.
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