Running a non-profit can be a daunting task, especially when you’re working out of an office space with no furniture or equipment. That was the situation Mardi Oel, President of Chestermere Food Bank in Calgary, encountered upon moving the food bank’s operations into a new office space.
“We had an office space and warehouse donated to us, but they were empty, and we had no money to furnish them,” said Mardi Oel. “We feared it would take us a year to get the funding together to furnish the space.”
Through its ongoing partnership with Green Standards, Enbridge provided Chestermere Food Bank with enough furniture and equipment to furnish the majority of their office space and warehouse. “The donation saved us from more investment,” said Oel.
The money that Chestermere saved can now go towards other key investments that were out of the food bank’s budget. “Thanks to the donation we can now put money towards commercial fridges and freezers,” said Oel. “We can start programs that most food banks have that were beyond our capacity until now.”
The 43 items donated to the food bank include bookcases, fire extinguishers, file cabinets, guest chairs, pedestals and tables.
The newly furnished space is a big improvement from the food bank’s previous space, which, according to Mardi, was a small, unfurnished storage room inside a recreation centre. “Our last place didn’t even have chairs,” said Oel. “It’s really amazing what something as small as a comfortable chair can do for our volunteers and our clients. The donation just made our space a much nicer place to go to work, and even to go hang out.”
It’s really amazing what something as small as a comfortable chair can do for our volunteers and our clients.
For Enbridge, partnering with Green Standards as part of its headquarters renovations exemplifies their ongoing commitment to their community and the environment. The two-year project diverted 304 tonnes of furniture and equipment away from the landfill – 97% of the total inventory.
Altogether, Enbridge was able to donate more than $150,000 worth of in-kind donations to numerous non-profit organizations in Calgary, including Foothills Academy, the Christine Meikle School and several others.
“When corporations plan appropriately, and keep products like these out of the landfill and in use by the community, great things can happen,” said Jon Milnes, Vice President of Global Accounts at Green Standards. “We see organizations like the Chestermere Food Bank growing with the support of our corporate partners all the time. It’s really amazing.”
About Chestermere Food Bank
The Chestermere Food Bank Foundation has been in operation since September 2007 and is run by a group of dedicated volunteers. The food bank serves the Town of Chestermere and the surrounding rural areas. Their motto is: “Bringing our community together to increase awareness and provide access to resources with compassion and dignity.”