Posts Tagged ‘events’

Feeding the stars

July 8, 2011

Summer is full of such great weather that it’s hard not to be outside to enjoy it; but at the same time it’s also nice to relax and watch a movie. Well mark your calendar because there’s an event coming up that will allow you the best of both of these worlds. Thanks to the hard work and planning of The Beat Goes On, Princess Twin Cinemas, the city of Waterloo, 105.3 KOOL FM, KFUN 99.5FM, and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region you’ll be able to enjoy both the nice weather and a great movie!

Some of you may already be familiar with the 5th Annual “Music and Movie in the park” event; but for others, here is a little bit more information. This event is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item.  There are three different Thursdays throughout the summer at Waterloo Park when the event will be held. (Click here for directions or suggestions on parking.) So mark your calendars to attend one or all three movies!

Thursday July 21: Rango

Thursday August 4: Gnomeo and Juliet

Thursday August 18: Rio

Movies will begin at dusk, following a musical performance from a local artist. So don’t forget to show up around 7:30 pm to lay down a blanket or set up some chairs in the grass to listen to one of the featured musicians before the movie. For more information, please click here.

It’s a perfect night out, a much better experience than a drive in movie theatre, and a great way to support a family in need. While you make memories with your own family under the star filled summer skies, you can also pass on a helping hand by donating a few canned food items that someone will rely on to make a meal with later on.

Each canned item that is passed on to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region from this event will go towards supporting one of the 25 500 people who receive food assistance throughout the year. To see what’s in high demand right now, please click here. Although keep in mind any food donation is always appreciated. Each item goes a long way to help someone who is struggling to meet one of their basic needs: food.

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Sharing the rewards

June 30, 2011

Many grocery stores are trying to find ways to reward their shoppers by purchasing food from their stores. For some this means offering incredible sales on essential or staple food items in their weekly flyer; and for others it means offering a points reward system.

Some of you may be familiar with the Sobey’s reward card, but for others here’s a little introduction. The “Club Sobey’s” card offers customers an opportunity to collect points for every whole dollar spent in a Sobey’s grocery store when they swipe their card at the check out. Extra points are awarded to specific items, which are often promoted in their flyer. The card has no initial sign up cost or annual fees. The points collected can be converted into Aeroplan miles; food related rewards on the online catalogue; or saved up to redeem free grocery items. If you’re interested in collecting these rewards, click here to apply online, sign up in stores, or call 1-877-7SOBEYS (1-877-776-2397).

But why is this important? How is this related to the work that we do?

Club Sobeys members have the opportunity to donate the points they earn on their Club Sobey’s card to a charitable organization or food bank program. People have the options to choose between the following agencies:

–         Boys and Girls Club

–         Daily Bread Food Bank

–         Second Harvest

–         Toonies for Tummies c/o The Grocery Foundation

–         Ontario Association of Food Banks

–         The Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Many of these agencies deal with providing food to low-income households or programs that will provide assistance to those in need. The other piece to these programs is that they aim to provide services that will assist in providing a healthy lifestyle development. Please click on the above names to learn more about the organization, if you’re interested. If you’re interested in donating your points, please click here. Your points will make a significant difference in your community and to a family in need.

Everyone Deserves a Home

April 20, 2011

This week is third annual Homeless Awareness Week in Kitchener-Waterloo. Over the years this awareness campaign has been in action various events have been arranged by many volunteers in the community to bring awareness to the issues of homelessness.

To test your knowledge on homelessness and poverty issues, try this quiz.

Monday night I attended a symposium at the Faculty of Social Work. The theme for the evening was “everyone deserves a home”. To share this theme there were three individuals who have experienced homelessness in the past, Van Vilaysinh from the Region’s Social Planning Division, and Kelly Craigmile from the Safe Haven Shelter through Lutherwood. However you may have already read a bit about this symposium in The Record; but if not, click here.

At the end of the symposium each member on the panel essentially wanted to ensure that everyone remembered the same message: the people on the streets aren’t scary or dangerous, they’re simply human beings who are experiencing some difficult circumstances that lead them to no longer maintain safe, secure and affordable housing. These are people who deserve to be given attention and resources to overcome the various situations that brought them to the streets.

You can meet some of the people who coordinated the events this week, especially the founder (Charles Nicholas), and hear about the upcoming struggles for the homeless populations by watching this video.

One of the statistics mentioned by the Social Planning Council is that it is more expensive to continue to allow emergency services such as hospitals and shelters to accommodate the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Instead a more cost-effective solution is to create more housing options, such as Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW). But these types of arrangements only come through with funding, which takes community members to speak up so the governments are aware that this is a necessary priority to make in our budget plans.

If you’re interested in becoming more aware about issues with homelessness or to show your support in advocating for change, there are still a few events going on this week. There is an art show tonight from seven to nine at the First United Church in Waterloo. (Click here for a map.) Also there is a photo gallery available during regular office hours at the Cambridge City Hall. (Click here for more details.) Finally you can also show your support by fundraising or attending the Sleepless Night event hosted by the Kitchener Downtown Community Center.

“Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now.” ~ Jonathan Martensson

Fun and food are right around the corner

April 19, 2011

Having enough money for the holidays is tough. Sometimes no matter how hard you budget, there just isn’t enough money to fill every expense. You’ll always be left with unfulfilled needs because something set you back financially and you just can’t catch up…Unfortunately this is a depressing reality for many of the patrons that we serve day-to-day.

Annually House of Friendship provides food assistance for one of the many holidays in the year: Christmas (which you can read more about here). But now as the calendar has turned, we are approaching the end of April and the celebration of Easter. (more…)

Let’s play a game!

April 12, 2011

Each day our program works with a big group of generous people who continually share their time to help out their local community.  They are an amazing group that includes people from different nationalities, experiences and generations.  Each one has their unique jokes and stories and something to teach us.

On a regular basis these volunteers are all working towards the same goal: helping people receive food assistance. However over the last few days I asked most of our volunteers to work towards another goal: playing a game to help me write this blog post! What was the game might you ask? Good question! The game was called “fill-in-the-blank”. I presented everyone with two phrases, and these are some of the answers I received: (more…)

It’s Time to Celebrate!

March 10, 2011

It seemed like we were just wrapping up Christmas Hampers when the Potato Blitz hit. Now, it too is over. Friday, February 25, we hosted the Community Potato Lunch at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and officially wrapped up a month of potato frenzy. This event, like all the events in this year’s Blitz, was a roaring success! You helped us raise another $3,100 so that we can purchase another 20,000 lbs of potatoes. This brings our grand total to 183,000 lbs of potatoes, which is 13,000 lbs above the campaign goal! (more…)

In praise of Potatoes!

February 18, 2011

Potatoes are one of the things on everyone’s mind at House of Friendship right now, since we’re in the midst of our annual Potato Blitz. During the various events throughout February House of Friendship hopes to collect enough potatoes or financial contributions to meet the needs of our various programs throughout the year.

So far Allison has covered some of the blitz events and how many potatoes they have collected,  but you may wonder, why are potatoes so important to House of Friendship?  The answer is simple: they are a chance for us to talk to someone about their neighbours who are less fortunate than they are.  Even if it is only for the short period of time it takes them to hand us a 10lb bag of delicious Yukon Gold potatoes, they have been able to put themselves in an other’s shoes, and find a way to help them. (more…)

The Adventures of Spuddy: A Day at the Supermarkets

February 14, 2011

Spuddy sports his trademark smile, overwhelmed by excitement at the beginning of the Supermarket Blitz day.

On Saturday morning, with a fresh layer of snow on the ground, Spuddy and Sweet Potato set out to visit all 17 of the grocery stores participating in this year’s Supermarket Blitz. It was no small task. Never before have so many supermarkets or volunteers been involved! While the results are not quite in, one thing is certain: We have a dedicated and compassionate community to be thankful for. (more…)

Holiday Season events to help end hunger

December 2, 2010

Yesterday I blogged (here) about the Christmas Hamper Program and how you can help the House of Friendship and Salvation Army make a difference this December. But donating food can involve more fun than filling a paper bag full of supplies.

As you may remember from our previous posts on this blog, the Emergency Food Hamper Program and the Christmas Hamper Program get the majority of their food from an other organization: the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.  This Holiday Season, there are many different community events coming up where Food Bank representatives will be present to accept food and monetary donations. Supporting the Food Bank will go a long way to ensuring we and the many other food programs in the region can meet the needs of the people coming to us for help. (A little fuzzy on the difference between House of Friendship and the Food Bank?  read here to clear it up). So take your children or friends out to have a great time at one of the many events to come:

  • Drop off a donation to the Center in the Square while you’re there to see a performance, or if it’s close to your home. Donation bins will be placed in their lobby area during the month of December.
  • Purchase an “Extra Helpings” food bag from any Loblaws, Zehrs, Valu-Marts, No Fills, Great Canadian Superstore, and the Great Canadian Wholesale Club during November 26-December 16th. You’ve probably seen the paper bags advertised near the front registers filled with canned goods that are passed on, along with the other items left in the donation bins, to the Food Bank to be distributed. Or there is always the option to purchase a few extra items during your regular grocery trips to place in the donation bins, which are located near the Customer Service area in most grocery stores.
  • Visit Christmas Fantasy at the Victoria Park Clock Tower on December 2nd at 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm. This is the opening ceremony for the lights that are displayed in the park on the trees, buildings and bridges until early January. There will be free crafts for children, hot chocolate, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Food Bank representatives collecting food or monetary donations.
  • Participate in the “Stuff-a-bus” campaign on December 10th-12th at the Laurentian Power Center Zehrs, which is near the intersection of Ottawa St S and Homer Watson in Kitchener. Volunteers will be collecting donations of food in hopes to try to fill a city bus full of non-perishable food items.

Hopefully one of these many events has caught your interest or will fit into your schedule. These events are typically a lot of fun, and contribute to a helpful cause. But also feel free to stay in touch with the Food Banks calendar of upcoming events, which you can find on their website. You’ll learn about a lot of great festival and activities that occur throughout the year at a low-cost with a high yield of fun!

Holiday fun and food is just around the corner!

December 1, 2010

Many people have been coming by our program over the last few weeks to inquire about the Christmas hamper program. Some of these patrons are stopping by to drop off the application form that was mailed in their social assistance cheques at the end of October. While others are here to provide us with their information and identification so that we can assist them in completing the application at our location. Either way both of these groups have something in common: their low income leaves them short of food for the holidays. (more…)