Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Calgary 18 Wheels of Christmas 2015…….most successful campaign ever!!!!!!

Alberta has reached a very low point in the economy, with tens of  thousands of Albertan's losing their jobs and probably experiencing a situation they never thought they would be in, using the Food Bank. 18 Wheels of Christmas Calgary found, even with the economic downturn, the giving from our communities to be at its highest.

We started in Okotoks for their annual Light Up event. 18 Wheels is becoming more involved in the community with the residents looking forward to seeing the trailer and helping to fill it. At the stroke of 9PM as the fireworks were beginning, Okotoks Food Bank volunteers arrived at the trailer and started loading the donations into their truck for distribution in the days following.

The next morning we were at the Lake Bonavista Promenade. We have been invited back every year from our inception in 2002 and have now been deemed a “Yearly Tradition” by Vyetta and Bev. These 2 ladies stand with us for the entire time we are there. Outside in temperatures sometimes so brutal you cannot feel any part of your body. The generosity of this community never fails to amaze.

The following week we were invited to Fluor's south Calgary office.  We have said it so many times before but this office of a thousand people is a community unto itself and their spirit of giving would be hard to find anywhere else. We look forward to being in the lobby of this building every year as their commitment to bettering the lives of others can’t be beat.

We did something quite different this year and it was a ton of fun!!! We were invited to team up with save-on-foods, 101.5 Kool FM, 95.3 The Peak and the Auburn Bay Community Association for their 2nd annual Parade of Lights!!!! There is nothing more fun than pushing shopping carts through the streets behind our 18 Wheels cube van and collecting food donations. Who knew a community could come together and be so generous while standing in the cold waiting for the floats. We had 6 volunteers pushing shopping carts collecting donations from the crowds on the street.  From all the donations we received we had to stop the truck and unload the carts multiple times because the carts were overflowing. We lost track on how many times the carts needed to be unloaded, that's how generous the community was!!!!! A young boy, maybe about 8, stepped forward and gave 1 dollar in change to one of our volunteers with the instructions “this is for the Food Bank”. He was the hero of the night.

With the help of Kool FM and The Peak, we parked the 18 Wheels of Christmas trailer for 48 hours at each Calgary save-on-foods stores over the course of a 4 week period. We had radio personalities, impromptu entertainment from local talent and of course the antics of Mr. and Mrs. Skippy to keep
everyone amused. Santa had a hard time containing the little Imps. Skippy and Brad Dryden of Kool mornings with Dryden and Michelle, hit it off from the beginning and what one didn’t think of to do the other one did which of course created havoc a few times.

It was hard work, cold at times, tiring at other times. Everything was worth it to see the faces of the representatives from the Calgary Food Bank when we delivered 56 skids of food completely filling every square inch of the trailer from the floor to the ceiling. We could not have been more proud when we presented our envelope with tax receipt requests and the fabulous donation from Rosenau Transport for $3,333.34.

The commitment shown by all our volunteers, drivers, mechanics, graphics department team and of course Rosenau Transport Ltd. helped to make our events successful and the Food Bank forever grateful.

Thank you for making 2015 such a success!!!!