Canada 2016 Weidner cares

Edmonton, Alberta

Oh, Canada! This year we had two events in the great white north; one in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and one in Edmonton, Alberta. This was the first year we were able to ask every Canadian associate to partake in the volunteer day, and with nearly 150 total participants we made a huge impact on our two community partners.

At our first event in Edmonton, we partnered with the Mustard Seed. This organization recently became affiliated with the Neighbour Centre, our 2015 Weidner Cares partner, and has served people experiencing poverty and homelessness in Alberta for more than 30 years. They provide individuals with food, household goods, and clothing, in addition to a number of employment and life skill services.

Offices - During and After
Volunteer Lounge - Before and After
Shelves - Before and After

We spent the day painting, cleaning, sorting donations, and remodeling three of their facilities. At their Community Support Centre, we tore out three dilapidated offices and replaced them with one larger and more open office, built three new large shelves, and painted the entry way. We also cleaned up outside of the facility, and helped to sort and put away nearly a whole room’s worth of donations. At their Main Church Building, we completely revamped their volunteer lounge with a fresh coat of paint and new flooring, and cleaned and pressure washed the exterior. The Main Church Building offers a free, hot meal to hundreds of individuals every day, and this is done almost exclusively with the help of community volunteers who now have a new lounge to relax in between shifts. Lastly, we sent a few volunteers to an apartment building owned by the Mustard Seed, where they helped out with landscaping and yard work.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

At our Saskatoon based event, we partnered with the Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch. This was our second Weidner Cares event with this organization, and they were thrilled to have us back for another day of service. The Garden Patch is a community-driven urban agriculture initiative located in the heart of Saskatoon. This once vacant city-owned lot has been transformed into a thriving community garden that has produced over 100,000 lbs of fresh produce over the past 5 years which is distributed to the community through the food bank.

Last year, we helped to build a number of structures at the garden, including a green roof, picnic tables and benches, a sign board, and raised beds. This year we spent some time maintaining the structures we had previously built, as well as building a few new ones. We repainted and repaired a number of raised beds and benches, we harvested hundreds of pounds of onions and garlic, shifted compost, and installed a long trellis along the garden beds for plants to grow on. We also spread mulch across a huge portion of the garden, painted and installed new signs, and revamped their children’s garden with new ground cover and some new paint.

Classroom Area - Before and After

Our largest project of the day was building a new shade structure for the garden to use as a classroom space. At nearly 10 feet tall, the structure looks over the garden and will provide future students with a wonderful shady spot to learn about the garden and urban agriculture.

New garden beg and stools
Children's Garden - Before and After

Our teams worked so hard to revamp and revitalize these two facilities, and their hard work has definitely paid off. Thank you so much to our Canada teams for making these events a huge success!

To learn more about our previous events, check out the Weidner Blog here.

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