100 Women Who Care is still going strong, with well over 100 members who came together to support The Mustard Seed School Lunch Program as this meeting’s donation recipient.
A passionate plea was made by Val Jensen on behalf of The Mustard Seed, winning over the crowd and ultimately winning the donation for the organization. Byron Bradley, director of Central Alberta Mustard Seed, was thrilled to receive the news via text message from Jensen after the announcement had been made.
“I’m just ecstatic. We’re absolutely honoured and humbled that we were chosen for the donation. I just sent Val a message, who was representing us this evening, saying thank you on behalf of all the kids who rely on The Mustard Seed, and previously Loaves and Fishes, for their school lunches,” Bradley said.
“There are a lot of vulnerable kids in our community and we deliver up to 400 lunches every day across 33 schools. This donation is going to go a long ways to directly supporting our school lunch program. We are thrilled, absolutely thrilled.”
Jensen spoke to the crowd and drew a detailed picture of empty shelves that should be full of food for the children in Red Deer. She said it was critical that the group chose to donate to The Mustard Seed in order to rectify this situation and help out the small staff of The Mustard Seed in feeding kids throughout the various school districts in the city.
The School Lunch Program serves students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, across Catholic, private and public school districts.
“We went in and looked at the shelves and there was hardly anything on them, and there is one staff working to prepare all of the lunches. Their need is now, and we can help them now,” Jensen said.
At of the start of the meeting, 100 Women Who Care had already donated $36,620 to local organizations in the community for the 2016 year. The two previous recipients were Suicide Prevention Society and Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC).
Members of CASASC attended the event to provide an update on how the 100 Women Who Care donation had been put to use, specifically in supporting the new texting and online web messenger help lines.
“With the money that was donated, we are able to help the whole community,” said Patricia Arango, executive director of CASASC.
“It’s important that we received this money, but what is more important is the help we are able to provide thanks to this donation. It’s important that we can talk about sexual assault, and it’s important that we can talk about how to prevent this assault and protect our friends, families and kids.”
The next 100 Women Who Care meeting will take place on Nov. 17th.