August 17, 2017
It’s Monday morning and 10 REALTORS® are gathered together in a kitchen. But these real estate pros are not at an open house – they’re busy packing lunches for Calgary’s kids.
Tucked in the heart of downtown Calgary is the Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) kitchen, where our crew of real estate volunteers are slicing and dicing to help fill the day’s food preparation quota.
BB4CK works in partnership with 204 Calgary schools to make and deliver free healthy lunches for students who would otherwise go hungry. Lunches are delivered each school day to 3,200 kids and our volunteers will feed almost half of them from today’s shift – 1,596 to be exact!
“When I saw the post for this volunteer opportunity, I emailed right away so I could come and help out,” says Toni Zihove, CREB® member and associate at Royal LePage Benchmark. “I’m always looking for new ways that I can contribute to the community. It’s great to meet new people and connect with like-minded REALTORS® who want to make an impact.”
Our volunteers arrived at 7:45 a.m. to pack the first batch of lunches at 9 a.m. for school delivery. In just four short hours, the volunteer work in the BB4CK kitchen will fuel our city’s youth so they can overcome hunger. BB4CK school program leaders have noted that kids who receive these lunches show increased participation, attendance rates and grades at school.
“Mornings like this with CREB®’s Charitable Foundation volunteers are so valuable,” says Bethany Ross, sustainability coordinator at BB4CK. “It is their dedication and support that is helping local kids who otherwise wouldn’t have enough to eat.”
From prepping fruits and vegetables, to making sandwiches and mixing cookie dough, Zihove and the other volunteers’ passion for giving back have made the space come to life as a full-service kitchen.
“It’s important to see what’s going on in our city first-hand through volunteering,” Zihove remarks. “Getting involved with these volunteer initiatives gives valuable insight into what’s happening in Calgary and the positive impact BB4CK has in our community.”
The Foundation is a proud community partner of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. Since 2013, our REALTORS® have been active volunteers at the BB4CK kitchen. To date, we have donated over $20,000 to BB4CK to support our city’s elementary, junior high and high school students.
The CREB® Charitable Foundation invests in local non-profits to help build self-sustaining communities and empower our REALTOR® members to extend a long legacy of giving.
For more information on future volunteer opportunities with the Foundation, visit our volunteer portal.