On Saturday, June 24, Sobeys Inc. partnered with more than 100 charities across Western Canada to bring the Canada Screams for Ice Cream and Kids Paying-It-Forward programs to life. In Stettler, Sobeys partnered with local youth organization, Heartland Youth Centre (HYC) to celebrate Canada’s 150th.
Customers could visit their local Sobeys, Safeway or IGA store in Western Canada and make a $2 donation in exchange for a tasty ice cream treat, according to a statement released by Sobeys. One hundred per cent of funds raised will help provide healthy meals and snacks for more than 100 local youth-based charities across Western Canada.
Sobeys Inc. matched donations raised on June 24, to a total of $100,000.
“Sobeys Inc. has deep roots in Western Canada, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate our country’s 150th birthday than with a fun ice cream event for our customers that will directly benefit the communities we proudly serve,” said Renée Hopfner, Director, Community Investment, Sobeys Inc. “We also have a unique opportunity to invest in future generations through the Kids Paying-It-Forward program and empower local youth who are passionate about making better food possible.”
Donation presentations will be made in local communities throughout the summer.
“Heartland Youth Center is very thankful that Sobeys chose us as their charity of choice to participate in their campaign,” said Christel Shuckburgh, mentoring coordinator of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). “Two of the kids on our wait list for a big brother and big sister with their parents served ice cream from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Thank you to Malcolm and Farrah and their moms for participating and raising awareness for our need for big brothers and big sisters.”
Stettler Sobeys owner, Pat Roach said, “I have always been a big believer in Big Brothers Big Sisters. I know that there is a desperate need for big brothers and big sisters in our community, and any platform we can use to get the word out about this great program is one well utilized.”
Roach added that he has been mentored in many ways over many years.
“When you are with an organization for 32 years, you are bound to have many mentors along the way, you don’t stay in a company this long without a strong foundation of learning and mentorship,” Roach explained. “I believe we are mentoring people every day in the way we carry ourselves, in the way we interact with others, we always have the ability to shape individuals every single day.”
According to Shuckburgh, there is a number of boys on the growing wait list who are yet to be matched with mentors.
“We were at nine and have added three more in the last month,” said Shuckburgh. “We have a dire need for male role models for these boys if you’ve ever thought about being a big brother or big sister please come and see Christel at HYC to learn more about your options. For as little as an hour a week you can make a difference in a child’s life that’s only four to five hours a month, and that’s not much time to improve a child’s future.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Stettler has been running a community boys’ group for the past year for the boys on the wait list.
“Stettler has been awesome in providing these boys with many opportunities to learn and have fun,” Shuckburgh added. “And we are always looking for male mentors who can help run this community group and add some positivity to these boys.”