Just in time for the holidays, a pair of food banks on each side of the provincial border around West Central were given a boost thanks to a local business owner.
Dr. Jackie Hagens deals with clients on both sides of the border with Oyen Optometry and Absolutely Eyes out of Kindersley, and spoke to us just last week after the practice officially donated separate cheques of over $300 to each community's local food bank just recently.
It was shared back on November 19th that Dr. Hagens would be donating $1 for every like on an accompanying Facebook post from that date until December 15th, and the final total came out to $302.
Dr. Hagens' wasn't exactly sure what to expect after the first set of likes came in so quickly, and talked about the entire process.
"I definitely try and always split our assistance and donations in a way to help both communities quite equally," she said, jokingly comparing it to parenting in keeping things fair for everyone all the way around.
She was excited to see the idea take off, saying it was an original one geared towards giving back to those who need it most.
"In the spirit of Christmas, just give back where it's needed most. Right now it seems like everybody is really hurting and the food prices are going up, and the most important people to support are those who might just not have food on their table," said Hagens about the less fortunate. "The timing was certainly right, and we just wanted to make sure we are supporting the people who need it the most, especially this time of year. We just decided to throw this out there."
It was unknown just how much money they would be donating at the end of the day, but when it started taking off, Hagens' first reaction was "prepare the cheque book, this thing is going to go crazy".
The original post did eventually calm down after a quick start, but Hagens was impressed with just how many thousands of shares she received. After seeing the amount of reach the post got it was surprising to see the totals not continuing to fly up, but Hagens knows that people can be hesitant when it comes to things online. After a fast start the total was locked in at 302 when the calendar flipped from December 15th.
It was a fun in house campaign to follow, and Hagens is already looking forward to next year.
"If I do it again next year, people would know these clicks actually did go right to the food banks."
After the initial impression that the donation might be hitting four digits, Hagens was planning on a true split of the money to the planned destinations. Because the money raised ended up a little lower than what was expected after an explosive first day, goodwill came to the forefront once again as Hagens decided to write separate cheques with the total amount raised for each of the local volunteer groups.
Unfortunately Dr. Hagens was not on hand when each group accepted their respective donation, but she knows that the smiling faces in the pictures taken during that time shares everything she needs to know about the terrific work done for her community(s).
"We can sense that the need is there. You could tell it was appreciated, and that it was going to go to the right people at the right time."
Hagens hopes that the local food banks appreciated their helpful act as much as they enjoyed performing it. There should be lots of appreciation to go around, and hopefully acts of goodwill won't stop around West Central as we depart the holiday season.