Between now and December 13th please drop off all donations to Blue Circle Insurance at 202, 239-10 Ave SE.
We are still collecting new or used backpacks for our Christmas Spud Buds. Our goal is to hand out over 400 filled backpacks to those in need here in Calgary (we are half way there) Santa and all the volunteers will be handing these out December 17th.. along with a fully loaded Spud and a cup of Tim Hortons hot chocolate.
These packs will be filled with: socks, toques, gloves, sweaters, homemade cookies, candy canes, oranges and toiletries.
Thanks for your support and for all the amazing donations thus far. Hugs ♥
Looking forward to attending the GoPrintGo Launch and Charity Gala next Tues Dec 13th between 5-9pm at the Gerry Thomas Gallery "SPUD BUDS" is one of the charities for this event...you DONT wanna miss this. Message me for more details. :)
I just arrived home to Calgary and am OVERWHELMED by the amout of donations that have been dropped off... U have all warmed my heart and many many others. Thanks for caring and showing that a group of people can make change. BIG hugs and luv to you all! :)
The humble potato, first cultivated by the ancient Incas and introduced in Europe just 500 years ago, is now one of our planet's most cultivated vegetables.
So highly revered for its versatility, potatoes were used as currency during the Klondike Gold Rush and were the first vegetables to be grown in space. So when a group of friends were sitting around one dark, winter night last year mashing around ideas on how to give back to the community, it all boiled down to one thing. Giving away potatoes to folks on the street.
"We thought potatoes, which are high in fibre, potassium and antioxidants, are a good stable food," says Dixie-Rae Wilson, 36, chief peeler and baker for her merry band of potato heads who call themselves Spud Buds.
"We started out a year ago baking about 40 pounds of potatoes and now we're up to 150 pounds," Wilson says.
"It's just a group of friends and a mixed bag of volunteers, just giving of themselves and digging into their pockets."
Wilson and her boyfriend Kelly have volunteered at the Calgary Drop-In Centre in the past and have even hosted homeless people in their home at Christmas.
She says her group meets once a month in the kitchen of her Ramsay home, baking potatoes in her two convection ovens.
They pack the potatoes in insulated containers and then drive over to a lot by the former St. Louis Hotel in East Calgary, where they set up their distribution tables.
"Someone brings sour cream and someone else will bring chives and bacon bits or a volunteer will bring water bottles," says Wilson, an event planner by trade.
She says they feed about 100 people, some skeptical and hesitant at first.
"People ask us what religious organization we're with, and not that we're against that, but we say we're just people -- giving," she emphasizes.
"You learn a lot about these people on the streets. Some are sick and drug addicted, so you have to be careful. But just a potato means the world to them. They are profuse in their gratitude."
While Spud Buds has grown in terms of quantity and manpower, Wilson's crop of volunteers has decided to keep their philanthropy personal, without approaching corporate donors.
High school chum Brad Hett has been a Spud Bud right from the beginning and thought that just like the potatoes they give away, every homeless person should have a jacket.
So he called and e-mailed everyone he knew to donate used coats and blankets to hand out to those in need.
"People are great. They've gone above and beyond what we ask for," says Hett, a hardwood floor refinisher who was shocked when he recognized some of the working homeless people from a few of his job sites.
"I've been in the Drop-In Centre. It's an eye-opening experience. I think everyone should go visit that place and see how fortunate we really are," he notes.
In addition to serving up hundreds of 50 Count Bakers, one of the largest varieties of potatoes grown, Spud Buds also give away toiletries, socks, toques and whatever else friends, family and colleagues donate to them.
"Our motto is people feeding people, people clothing people and people loving people," says Wilson.
A huge congratulations goes out to long-time Highbanks Supporters Dixie-Rae Wilson and Kelly Kask! Their grass-roots operation Spud Buds just celebrated their first anniversary this past full moon.
Dixie and Kelly have volunteered at the Calgary Drop-In Centre over the years and have even hosted homeless people in their home at Christmas. With such big hearts, who better to do this work?
Spud Buds cook and pack potatoes in insulated containers and take them to a parking lot by the former St. Louis Hotel in East Calgary where they set up distribution tables. They serve up hundreds of the largest varieties of potatoes grown, as well as give away toiletries, socks, toques and whatever else friends, family and colleagues donate.
"Our motto is people feeding people, people clothing people and people loving people," says Dixie. What a wonderful motto to live by guys! Congratulations Spud Buds!
Some good Samaritans were at work Saturday looking after some of the city's less fortunate.
A group calling itself Spud Buds was serving up baked potatoes and toppings at the Drop-In Centre.
As well, hundreds of the city's homeless received donated Tim Hortons coffee and some special Christmas packages.
"Today is our Christmas spud buds," said volunteer Dixie-Rae Wilson. "We're giving out brown paper bags full of yummy cookies made by friends, hand-made toques, warm socks, mandarin orange of course, and candy-canes."