Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanks For Helping To Raise $10,000 for Inn From The Cold Families This Christmas!

  Wow!  What started out as a simple idea  to use social media to try and help some local families this Christmas turned out bigger than any of us could have imagined.  The plan was to raise a few hundred dollars and gather some much needed items to fill a Christmas hamper or two for the Inn From The Cold, but due to everyone's generosity, we exceeded that modest goal by a long shot.

  We had lots of interest in the goods donations and dozens of people on Twitter had contacted me to confirm that they were going to donate hamper and wish list items and many people had dropped off goods directly to me to forward to the Inn From The Cold.  I was amazed at the response and so happy that we could help the Inn in this small way.  Then, thanks to an idea hatched by my pal Joey Oberhoffner, things took off in another amazing direction.

  At the last minute, Joey organized a challenge to some of our contacts on twitter, to raise money from their respective political party members via a food pledge night!  This idea turned out to be a massive success, as we saw people from across the Alberta political spectrum get behind their members and donate money for each wing and taco that they ate!  Some even donated to all of the participants, which was amazing.  Here is how the results shook out...

  • Vincent St Pierre (Alberta Liberals) - 24 tacos (NOT a typo...!) 
  • Joey Oberhoffner (Progressive Conservatives) - 15 tacos ( Hold the sour cream....) 
  • Derrick Jacobson (Wildrose) - 41 chicken wings  ( Yes, there is some symbolism in the "41 Wings..." )   FYI,,,Derrick and the Wildrose raised the most money! 
  • Marc Doll (Alberta Party) - 13 tacos (at $100/taco!) 
  • Stephen D. Anderson (NDP) - 10 tacos 

  • These gents raised over $4700 for their efforts!!  It was hilarious to actually watch them chow down and push themselves to the limit for charity.

    The best part?  We had an anonymous donor who agreed to MATCH any money raised!  This brought the total raised to well over $10,000!!!!! ( This donor's generosity had inspired all of us in this initiative)

     I had the chance to deliver the hamper items with our anonymous donor yesterday to the Inn and they were very thankful.  When they received the cheque from our matching donor, they were blown away.  This money will go a long way to helping families this holiday season.     

      Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to meet some amazing people on twitter and they always come out to support good causes.  I am truly blessed to know these good people.  Thanks again to everyone who helped, either through donations, re-tweets and support of the #ablegcares gluttony on Wednesday!

    Merry Christmas everyone!  

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    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Hey Calgary! Who Wants To Help A Family In Need This Christmas?

    ** Update 12/10/12**  An anonymous donor has advised that they are going to match/equal all donations received, up to $5,000!!!  This is amazing news! 

      With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are caught up in the hustle and bustle of December.  As our attention turns to finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones, many people tend to get lost in the madness of the shopping season.  As Calgarians, we are fortunate to live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world and many of have been blessed with great families, careers and financial stability.  That said, as well off as Calgary appears, there are many people struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis.

      Inn From The Cold is a local charity that provides emergency shelter, support and programs to homeless children, their families and others in need, with the goal of building healthy, stable families and ending homelessness.  I have had the opportunity to tour their facility and I found it personally heartbreaking to imagine the hardships that a homeless family faces.  The work that Inn From The Cold does on a daily basis helps families in need and I thought it would a good idea to try and give back to our community and help a family have a brighter Christmas this year.

      During this holiday season, Inn From The Cold can use our help in providing items for a Christmas hamper and holiday wish list items for their clients.  I am reaching out to friends, coworkers and associates on social media to help put together some donated items for local families.  By working together, we will be able to make a family's holiday a little brighter this year.

    How can we help? 

    • Please review the list of hamper and "wishlist" items in the links below and let me know if you would like to help by donating some of these important items.
    • Please share the wishlist items on Twitter and Facebook to help spread the word. ( #yycTwitterXmas)
    • Help with the collection and drop off of these items at the Inn From The Cold facility. 

    Some of the key items they require can be found below.

    1) Inn From The Cold Hamper Items
    2) Inn From The Cold Wishlist Items

    Ideally, I would like to collect all of the items and drop them off around December 16, 2012 if possible.

    If you are interested in helping, leave a comment below or email me at ( Also, be sure to share any other ideas that may help a family at Inn From The Cold this Christmas.) and let me know if you can help!



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