When Rob Frank moved from Regina to Vernon to take over store manager duties at the local Rona Home Centre, he brought with him a unique charity idea.
Formerly the assistant manager at Rona’s big box store in Regina, Frank helped run a holiday food drive to raise funds and food for their local food bank. Thinking the initiative would go over well in Vernon, he approached Save-On-Foods and spoke to assistant store manager Neil Allkins.
“He quickly obliged and agreed to provide Rona with 50 bags of food. We are currently selling these bags at our store for $5 each. Our customers then take the bags and donate them in our Santa sleigh that we have built and displayed at the front of our store,” said Frank. “It’s an easy system for us to do.”
During the week of Dec. 19, Frank will collect all the money raised, along with all of the food bags (each one contains about $10 of food), and bring it down to the Vernon’s Salvation Army food bank to make a donation.
Rona has also been saving donations from the last few months of their popcorn sales at the customer service desk and will be adding that to the kitty. And if a customer buys a $10 gift card (or greater), Rona will match it and give $10 towards the food bank as cash.
“Our cashiers have totally bought in on this. They’re asking if you’d like to make a donation,” said Frank, who will be bringing several Rona employees with him to volunteer at the food bank when he makes his visit.
“Whatever they need some help with, we’ll do it.”
In challenging economic times, Frank said it can be difficult for people to open up their wallets to charity, but added it is also the time when charitable acts are needed most.
“That scary R-word – recession – it has affected everybody, either directly or indirectly,” he said.
“More and more people are using the food bank every day. It’s no secret times are tough, the economy is struggling. Even people you may not expect to be using the food bank are using it. You’d be surprised whose walking through the doors.”
As another special touch, Rona will also be donating their remaining live Christmas trees to the food bank for families that would like to have a tree, but can’t afford one.