Published August 14, 2017 14:17
Sobeys Inc. is teaching Winnipeg’s inner city kids a valuable lesson about gratitude and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg’s Gilbert Park Club is benefiting.
As part of their Canada 150 celebration, the supermarket retailer is empowering youth in western Canada to make a difference in their communities. On June 24 they hosted Canada Screams for Ice Cream where Western Canadians tasted ice cream at selected Sobeys, Safeway and IGA stores for a $2 donation. They raised $277,502 for 113 youth-based charities in western Canada.
Sobeys has donated $500 in gift cards to 150 nominated youth participating in the Kids Paying It Forward project. Participants then donate their money to a cause that has helped them, their families, neighbours or friends.
"By having youth empowered with this $500 contribution to pay it forward, it makes our youth think about programs and organizations that are important to them, and it’s their way of helping out another organization in the community. It’s the power of positivity of supporting a local charity," Natalina Porpiglia-Dafnis, Sobeys’ community investment specialist, said.
Keagan Golondrina was chosen to be the youth representative for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg at the Canada Screams for Ice Cream event. He has been a member of BGCW’s Gilbert Park Club for 12 years and chose to donate his $500 to the club because it is like a second home to him, he said.
"I wanted to give back what they gave to me in these 12 years. They gave me food, they gave me something to do, and they were always nice to me," Golondrina said.
The 17-year-old has been very involved in the Gilbert Park Club and has done volunteer work in the community. He worked as a teen mentor in the BGC Power Up! program which helps children and youth develop skills and motivation to study and become lifelong learners. He is also a participant in the Boys Night Out program, a recreational sport and physical activity program that introduces boys to various sports.
Golondrina is employed with the BGCW‘s Youth for Eco-action program for the summer and is on their Youth Council.
Heather Black, BGCW’s director of community engagement, said Youth Council members also serve as ambassadors at community events and activities and take part in philanthropy projects.
"He (Golondrina) has an idea of what it means to be thankful for what you have and how you can give back and make a difference," she added. "One of our core values is community and leadership, and when we see a young person who wants to come back and give back it feels like that core value has been achieved, and that person is well-rounded.
"They had an opportunity to develop, and they are grateful, and they learn gratitude, and I think that’s a great characteristic in an individual."
Porpiglia-Dafnis said Sobeys focuses on "helping to create a better tomorrow and helping Canadians eat better, feel better and do better."
Golondrina’s donation will contribute to a healthier living and community as the money goes toward purchasing healthy foods and products used by BGCW. The organization offers meal programs, and this is an opportunity for them to fill up their cupboards.
"I like to give back to the community. Because the BGCW has been a second home to me it makes me feel even better helping them," Golondrina said.