Brandi Johnson recalls the very day she decided to put together a special cookbook to raise funds for those fighting cancer.
“I was in a bank and I saw another cookbook that had the proceeds going to breast cancer,” explained the Red Deer resident. “I like to cook, so then I thought doing something cooking-wise that would go directly to help patients now.”
Johnson, 21, has been volunteering at the Central Alberta Deer Cancer Centre for nearly two years now.
With help from her mom Josie, she set to work collecting a whole pile of tasty recipes from friends and colleagues. That process started in August of last year and wrapped up this past January.
The work, called The All Love Cookbook, arrived in mid-June. Proceeds will go to the Patient Financial Assistance Program.
“I wanted it to go directly to the patient,” she said.
Johnson said patients sometimes run into financial challenges after they are diagnosed with cancer and begin treatments. Employment and thus income is often affected. As Johnson points out, some people have good benefits and supportive family and friends, but others have no help.
As to the cookbook, folks will be delighted at the scope and quality of what they find inside.
“They are people’s tried and true recipes,” she explains of the 500 submissions which run the gamut from appetizers, desserts, main dishes and vegetables to salads, dressings, soups and sauces. “I was so excited because I’ve just wanted to get out there and sell these,” she said.
Johnson said she’ll have a booth set up at the Market at Red Deer (Farmer’s Market) through the summer, and she’ll also be selling the book from time to time in the Red Deer Regional Hospital near the Jolt N Bolt.
Money raised through sales of The All Love Cookbook will go directly to those in need in the form of gift cards.
“They can take those gift cards and use them at the grocery store, for example. Or it could be used for gas.”
Meanwhile, Johnson is gearing up to study print media at SAIT this fall. She’s particularly interested in the graphic design end of things.
But volunteering has always been a passion for her. She does some reception work at the Central Alberta Cancer Centre and shows patients where to wait until they can see a doctor.
“I enjoy helping the people here and being of assistance where I can,” she said. “A lot of people can feel overwhelmed when it comes to volunteering, and feel like ‘Where do I start’. I feel that where ever you have talent or where ever you can just be of assistance – that’s a good place to start. That’s what I did.”
For more information, call Johnson at 403-358-7765 or 403-506-5693.
The All Love Cookbook, which costs $20 per copy, will also be available at the front desk of the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.