Cochrane Fire Services kicked off their annual food and supply drive in a BIG way.
This past Saturday (November 3), up to ten firefighters at one time rallied outside of Save On Foods encouraging community members to give a helping hand to Veterans and First Responders in need.
Collecting food and supplies to support the Veterans Association Food Bank and Legacy Place Society, Firefighters, Ian Stewart and Alex Vague share Cochranites generosity is extremely impressive. During their few hours parked on site, Cochrane Fire Services loaded up two and a half pick up trucks full of non-perishable food items to take back to the hall. "It was quite overwhelming the amount of food we collected in such a short space of time. We weren't expecting anywhere near that amount."
With at least five members of Cochrane Fire Services serving in the military in one capacity or another, Vague and Stewart share they have a vested interest when it comes to supporting both organizations. "There is a lot of homeless Veterans and guys falling through the cracks. Some of it's down on their luck for whatever reason, some of its service related but there is a definite void where people aren't being looked after...and every little bit helps."
The Veterans Association Food Bank continues working on dispelling the image that only old wartime vets need help while Legacy Place Society supports all First Responders and Military personnel through distressing medical or personal times. Helping a broad range of people who have dedicated their lives to serve others, Legacy Place helps rebuild resiliency in those we consider our community heroes.
Although Legacy Place Society is a new initiative Cochrane Fire Services is donating to, the organization has been around since 1997. With our local department placing a strong emphasis on the importance that mental health resiliency plays, Vague feels the organization offers invaluable support. "There are a lot of similar issues that Vets and First Responders face with mental health, and so we want to look after as many people as we can. This is near and dear to our hearts."
Inspector Jeff Avery shares if you would rather donate cash or a cheque (made out to Cochrane Firefighters Foundation) feel free to do so. Rather than monetary funds going directly to the poppy fund, Inspector Avery says they will use the cash to fill any voids by hitting up our local grocery stores and shopping for items that remain in high demand.
All donations will be gratefully accepted at Cochrane Fire Sevices up until month's end. "If you have any questions, you can contact the fire hall. Anything you want to drop off, there is a food bin right below the sign."
The annual food drive began November 1st and Fire Services plan to smash last year's total of five truckloads collected, states Avery. "We definitely want to thank the residents of Cochrane because they always support this well. I know times are tough and it's coming up to Christmas but the residents always seem to help the Vets out, which is just outstanding."
Besides non-perishable food items, below you will find a list of some items needed and not necessarily thought of that would benefit both the Veterans Association Food Bank/Legacy Place Society:
- cleaning supplies
- toilet paper
- queen size sheets