Stepping Up to the Challenge - Salvation Army Canada

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    Stepping Up to the Challenge

    Company helps blow the roof off Salvation Army kettle drive. December 17, 2021 by Melissa Yue Wallace
    Filed Under:
    Faith & Friends
    Mark Stewart (right) of Ridge Meadows Ministries receives a cheque from Clay Gagnon (2nd from right)
    Mark Stewart (right) of Ridge Meadows Ministries receives a cheque from Clay Gagnon (2nd from right)

    For several years now, the team at Whonnock Roofing and Gutters in Maple Ridge, B.C., has been volunteering and raising support for The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries through the Christmas kettle campaign.

    “The Salvation Army does a lot of good in this world,” says Clay Gagnon, who owns the company with his brother, Abraham. “They give people a second, third, 50th chance, and I’m a big believer in that.”

    In 2020, staff signed up for approximately eight two-hour shifts on the kettles and announced where they would be on their company and personal Facebook pages, with a promise to match each donation. Their strategy paid off. As a 43-year-old company with a solid reputation, their friends and clients showed up to give.

    Thanks to the company’s efforts, they raised $3,529.45 in public donations. The owners then wrote a cheque to double that amount for a total of $7,058.90.

    Above and Beyond

    “Whonnock Roofing is a community-minded company that always helps out and gives back, not only by volunteering on kettles but by helping to stock the shelves at other community agencies,” says Amelia Norrie, fundraising co-ordinator at Ridge Meadows Ministries. “They go above and beyond, and we were thrilled that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Whonnock Roofing and our entire community reached into their pockets and gave.”

    The Army in Maple Ridge exceeded its 2020 fundraising goal of $90,000, raising $138,000. That money, she explains, will go toward various services such as the community meal program, emergency food hampers, school bag lunches ,and their baby and toddler program.

    “When companies like Whonnock Roofing step up and give their time to fill shifts at kettle season, it’s just one less worry that we have,” says Amelia. “We’re so grateful for their heart to serve.”

    “Never Too Late”

    Clay and Abraham’s desire to help people in need stems from personal experience.

    “I lost a brother and sister to addiction,” Clay says. “The Salvation Army did a lot to help them, but they decided they didn’t want it, and at some point, you’ve got to want to do right.

    “My brother and I wanted to break that cycle for our own children,” he explains. “So, we’ve gone the opposite direction, supporting The Salvation Army and doing other things to help that are between us and God.”

    “As some people get older, they give up, accept where they’re at and lose hope that things could be different,” says Clay. “And that’s just not the case; everyone has value and worth.”

    Clay shares a message with his own three children as well as anyone who is struggling: “It’s never too late to turn your situation around, for that first day to come to a better life.”

    Record of Accomplishment

    In 2020, The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries:

    • Served 80,081 meals to the community

    • Provided 398 emergency food hampers

    • Prepared and served 22,243 school bag lunches

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