this february #ShareLocalLove
Valentine’s Day – some people look forward to it and embrace it. Bring on the roses, chocolates, date-night, they say. Others feel it is a silly, concocted day…created by companies such as Hallmark to drive sales. No matter what camp you sit in, the concept of love, and sharing love, is something we can all get behind.
In ancient Greece, love was differentiated – as there were thought to be many different types of love. Among them: romantic love (eros), friendship love (philia), the love you have for family members (storge), self-love (philautia), and selfless, universal love (agape).
This February, it’s that universal love – agape – that we’re focusing on. This world of ours needs more love, kindness, compassion and community. The good news is, there are lots of great examples of people, organizations and companies who are doing good. We’re shining a light on a handful that are making a difference in communities where our hotels operate, as we #ShareLocalLove. So, while we absolutely encourage you to embrace random acts of kindness, simply supporting some of these great initiatives is a great start.
Want proof that giving back need not be complicated? Look no further than Little Straw Winery. Located in the Lakeview Heights district of West Kelowna, this family-owned winery is known for its white wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. They’ve also made a name for themselves by offering their tastings by donation – where they pass those funds along to the local foodbank. They’ll be reopening for tastings this spring, so be sure to stop in for a tasting knowing you’ll also be helping to fight food insecurity.
The Canadian Cancer Foundation’s Dry February is underway. If you’re participating, then you may be looking for some great alternatives to wet your whistle. Ever heard of Good Drink? They make bottled tea (their Mango Tea is their most sought-after), spritzers, sparkling water and GoodWater. Located in Fort Langley BC, they’ve been doing more than just producing beverages; they’ve been helping to develop clean water infrastructure with their Choose to Give Clean Water initiative, since 2016. Now that’s something to sip on!
While some businesses have thrived through COVID-19, the tourism and hospitality sector has been hard hit. No non-essential travel means that hotels sit nearly vacant. In Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, though, they found H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Eat). This fund supports up to 200 fresh and frozen family meals each week for members of the region’s hospitality industry who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. If you’d like to donate, you can do so online. A big shout-out to Oliver Eats for spearheading this great initiative which is also fueled by 44 local wineries – difference-making community love. Be sure to visit Oliver Eats (they offer delivery and take-away too) when you’re next in the Oliver area.
An “unapologetically all-butter bakery”. Yup, those are words we can get behind. What makes the amazing pies and baked goods at Gabi and Jules even better is that they don’t just put love into their baking; they put it back into the community. Gabi and Jules prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming to individuals of all abilities. In the words of the Gabi & Jules team, “We have had successes and failures and continue to learn on our journey of inclusion, but we have seen the beauty and kindness that comes from seeing abilities rather than disabilities.” The beauty of that sentiment carries through into their baked goods, drawing you in with creations including blueberry earl grey pie and (wait for it) family mac and cheese pie (OMG). Did we mention that they deliver within Metro Vancouver in an emission free vehicle?
If you love beer, and you love animals, consider this the perfect marriage. Trench Brewing, located in PG, produced an extra special bitter craft beer, where a portion of each sale goes to support operations of the Prince George Humane society. The project which featured an English Ale is called the Rescue Brew, came to fruition when traditional event-based fundraising events couldn’t move forward in 2020. The brew is available for purchase at Trench Brewing’s tasting room.
Whether you love the convenience of delivery, or just want to limit your COVID exposure, Naturally Urban Pet Delivery, in Vancouver, is a great option. They bring cat and dog food, as well as treats and litter right to your door for no additional delivery fee (minimum order required). Even better, they donate 1% of each purchase to a local charity or non-profit of your choosing. Need one more reason? They’re also keeping it green, delivering locally with #kittytesla! Look at those ears!
(image: Naturally Urban Pet Delivery)
A subscription ice cream service. Yes, it’s a thing, and yes, it’s awesome. Put aside, for a moment, the fact that you can have boutique ice cream delivered to your door, and take-in that you can give back while doing it. About a year ago at 49 Below Ice Cream company in Victoria, they launched a ‘Philanthropint Series.’ They create an amazing flavour, sell it, and donate all proceeds to the charity of the individual’s choosing. When you’re next in Victoria, show them your support by buying a pint. In addition to their subscription delivery service, 49 Below is available at a handful of local shops.
When you visit Snow Valley Edmonton on Friday evenings, you do more than feed your need for fun on the slopes. You help fill foodbank shelves. Snow Valley is open with COVID-19 protocols in place. For Edmontonians, the opportunity to get in some turns on the slopes is great for mental health. Despite the challenges this year, Snow Valley continues to show its charitable heart. They’ve designated Food Bank Fridays, where $2 from each lift ticket is donated to Edmonton’s Foodbanks. Lift tickets must be purchased in advance and are limited.
Fresh flowers brighten spaces, enhance mood, and are always a good idea to mark special occasions. At BLOOMdiggity in Lethbridge, good vibes extend well beyond a floral purchase. With their “Community BLOOMS Initiative” a portion of all sales benefit the SAGE Clan Patrol. SAGE Clan is a Lethbridge, grassroots organization that “specializes in engaging those who need it the most in our community; helping the homeless and those suffering from addiction. Now that, is a stunning arrangement.
The gift of a meal – it’s simple and powerful. A group of chefs in Yukon recognized this and took action. Under the leadership of Chef Chris Irving, they formed the Yukon Chef Collective. Together, and with some very generous donations, they create weekly meals to donate to the Whitehorse Food Bank. They have been dropping off packages of 250-280 meals at the food bank each week. Who are these champions of compassion? Check out the Yukon Chef Collective Facebook page so that you can follow them, donate, or support their local business when you’re next in Whitehorse.
The mission of jcoco, the ultra-premium sister brand to Seattle Chocolate, is to “elevate the way people experience chocolate and turn an everyday indulgence into an opportunity to make a difference.” Clearly it’s resonating. To-date, chocolate lovers’ purchases have helped fund more than 3.5 million servings to organizations working to combat hunger. And with flavours including Cayenne Veracruz Orange, Mango Plantain and Alaskan Smoked Sea Salt, it’s no wonder! Yum! The next time you’re in Seattle, this is a must visit. And if you can’t get there soon enough, you can turn your indulgence craving into opportunity by purchasing online. Sweet.
(image: Seattle Chocolate Comany)