In Sooke, all it often takes to get a fundraiser going is one heart to set the spark – the rest follows with generous intentions and no expectations in return.
It’s a common theme, hence why the ol’ commune has become its own epicentre of community-focused fundraising events, from the community, for the community.
And with the holidays fast approaching, Sookies are restless to give: to the poor, to the hungry, to the homeless and everyone else in need.
Heather Cochrane is such a Sookie, who, since her arrival in Sooke over three years ago, has rooted herself into the local community – from participating in Sooke’s Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue squad, organizing events such as a silent auction and dinner at the Legion, and running her own mobile aesthetics business.
This year though, she wanted to do something different: she partnered up with colleague Rachel Dyer, owner of the Sooke Health and Fitness gym, and decided to organize a fundraiser for the Sooke Food Bank.
Starting today, and every Wednesday for the month of November from noon to 6 p.m., the duo will be at the gym receiving donations such as canned food or other non-perishable items (cereals in particular), while Cochrane will be doing a facial wax to anyone interested, with all proceeds from that going to the Food Bank as well.
“When I think about all the people that haven’t got anything to eat day to day just makes me sad,” Cochrane said, adding that this time is so critical for the homeless and the less fortunate, that it’s difficult to just sit idle by and do nothing.
And for those who donate, as little as it is, every bit helps.
“Even if it’s a couple of cans, it adds up,” Cochrane said.
Dyer pointed out that as people walk into the gym, they don’t necessarily have to get a wax or start working out, they can just simply walk in, drop off a non-perishable food item in the box, and be on their way.
Mind you, big hearts won’t go unrewarded –anyone who has their waxing done and donates will be entered in a draw to win an extravagant gift basket.
Like Cochrane, Dyer says the holiday season is far too much of an important time to not help out.
“Especially coming up to Christmas too, it’s always hard to think that there’s people out there that kind of take for granted that we’ll have that nice Christmas dinner and others just struggle to put a dinner together in the first place.”
The duo hope that this initiative will help the Sooke Food Bank, and indeed, the local community at large to have a better, more fulfilling Christmas.
“If people have families, they try to buy something for the kids for Christmas, but then they have to wonder, do they buy food or do they buy gifts?,” Dyer said.
Both Cochrane and Dyer are also part of the same recently-formed Sooke Women in Business, a group where business owners can promote and support each other’s businesses, as well as seek opportunities in which they can help the community as well.
“It’s all about helping each other out, it has to be this way,” Cochrane said.
“We are our own little community, so if we, the community, doesn’t do it, then nobody else is going to do it for us.”