Remarkable generosity

Claude Duchesne (left rear) and James Vickers (right) and Claude's son Alex met with Community Connections Food Bank Manager Patti Larson on Friday to give her something special — the $1,000 they were awarded by their employer, Canadian Mountain Holidays for helping the Food Bank through the Food Share Program. A few years ago the two of them decided that rather than compost or trash prepared but uneaten meals at the Gothics Lodge where they work, they would package the meals and bring them down to the Food Bank. Their unique donations were a huge hit with Patti and her clients. Encouraged by their success, they began encouraging the other CMH lodges in the area to do the same thing. Eventually word filtered back to CMH central in Banff and Claude and James were not only commended for their work but awarded $1,000 which they vowed to donate to the Food Bank. That's the cheque Patti's holding. Nice story, eh? David F. Rooney photo
Like a lot of parents, Helen Sheppard (left) and Karen Matthews are keen to see their kids grow up to be socially aware individuals. But they go beyond simple talk about social responsibility. Their kids — Andreas and Mica Sheppard and Samantha and Zach Veninsky — forego birthday presents and, instead ask the kids invited to their parties to bring something for the Food Bank. "We have an abundance of of things for them at home," Karen said. "So we always ask their friends to bring a donation." And — Wow! — do they bring donations. At one birthday party the guests brought a total of 200 lbs of food. That's amazing. "We stole the idea from Karen," said Helen. "It's important for our kids to get a sense of why we do the things." These two families aren't alone. There are lots of other socially conscious and socially engaged families out there. David F. Rooney photo