It was an emotional rollercoaster, but I had the pleasure of helping 2000 low-income families, seniors, children, single parents, “down on their luck” individuals, and many more people from different walks of life with as much as I possibly could. We offered free food hampers, hair cuts, backpacks filled with school supplies, fresh bread, personal hygiene products, cereal, a barbecue lunch, and all sorts of other goodies that I could get my hands on — All for people in need!
We literally had people lining up at 6am, 70% of them were children and it broke my heart instantly, I was defeated. I arrived at 8am and there was more than 600 people lined up, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I immediately froze up, and I honestly didn’t know what to do. I started to question myself, “do I have enough supplies for everyone here?”, “how can I make this work?”, “what am I going to do?”, “how did I not better prepare for this?” — I was honestly rattled, afraid, and heartbroken, all at the same time. It was a weird feeling.
I’ve now held this event for five years, but this year was BY FAR the busiest, I honesty didn’t see it coming. Last year we helped 650 families and individuals, and this year we had 2000 people show up. BUT, after much scrambling and re-calculation, and with the help of my amazing volunteers, the staff of Shadified and the support of the community, WE MADE IT WORK, as best as we could at least — I’m PROUD to say that everyone got something, and there were thousands of smiling faces!
THIS IS WHAT COMMUNITY SPIRIT LOOKS LIKE and I want to thank everyone who helped me make this work, I couldn’t have done it alone! I do want to apologize wholeheartedly to the people who did show up, and had to wait for hours — I honestly didn’t expect it to be that busy and I am truly sorry that I wasn’t better prepared. This year’s attendance was literally tripled compared to last year, and I want you to know that I did try my best and gave everything that I possibly could, literally.
I want to thank everyone who helped me prepare for this event, and everyone who made this event a success. Thank you to Shadified salon & spa, No Bull RV Sales Inc., City Homes Master Builder, Lucky Supermarket, Southbrook Sobeys, Loriz Pilipino Bakery, MGS Company, and all of our private sponsors! Without you, this event would not have been possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
I hold this event every year because I used to be poor growing up and my family depended on events like this to get by. Seeing the smiles on all of those children’s faces really made my day, and I’m glad that I am able to help people who are in the same circumstances that my family and I were once in. It’s a pleasure serving the people, and my city, and you can all count on me for many more years to come — you have my word!
– Can Man Dan