It may have poured down rain, but that didn’t stop community members from pitching in to help during a recent food bank donation drive.
Gloria Cooper and Aruna N.B. Khan teamed up to host the Everyday Superheroes drive-by food bank event at Cariboo Hill Secondary School on May 30.
“The event went better than we could ever have imagined,” Khan wrote in an email to the NOW.
Cooper, a mortgage specialist, and Khan, a Realtor, have frequently teamed up in the past to host community events.
“Due to lockdown and social distancing, we were forced to think outside the box as to how we could bring community together to help combat some of the effects of COVID-19 in our communities,” their email said. “So, we came up with this big and crazy idea that involved cars driving by like a drive-through restaurant, people popping trunks, food being collected, superheroes, capes, cowbells and prizes. We had no idea if it would work or not.”
The two stayed up several nights into the wee hours creating superhero capes, sourcing prizes, creating logos and making volunteer badges – all on a quest to share their message that, no matter who you are, you can be a superhero and make a positive impact on your community.
The two noted they were determined to help families who are struggling to access food during this pandemic and to bring community together in the process.
“Donors drove from as far as Surrey and North Vancouver to come to our drive-by to make a donation,” they said.
Crest Plaza’s Pharmasave employees pitched in bagged goodies (dropped off by local canine actor Action Jackson Brown and his owner), and local resident Victor Villamera came by with crates of fresh bread, bagels and buns – enough to feed hundreds of people – all bought and donated on his own birthday.
Volunteers – including Mayor Mike Hurley, MP Peter Julian and MLA Katrina Chen – donned red capes to help out, and Burnaby firefighters arrived in one of their large trucks, with sirens on, and stayed to cheer on donors.
“With the help, kindness, enthusiasm and generosity of our amazing superheroes – our leaders, volunteers (adults and youth), community members, local businesses and the Burnaby firefighters, we were able to collect superhero volumes of food to distribute to four food banks throughout Burnaby and New Westminster,” their email says.
You can keep an eye on other local COVID-19-related events by following the Caring During COVID19 Burnaby/New Westminster group on Facebook.