By Jensen, Randy on March 24, 2020.
Local philanthropist, Cor Van Raay is currently self-isolating and taking all recommended precautions in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, but is still thinking of those in need is his community.
On Monday, Van Raay presented Interfaith Food Bank with $100,000 to ensure that shelves are stocked and ready to help those in need of emergency food assistance.
Van Raay has a long history of supporting the community, making sizable contributions to the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, YMCA and many other local projects.
“As I sat in my home and reflected on my past, I could not, in all (conscience), sit and listen about people in Lethbridge and community that have no homes, no jobs, and very little food. About 60 years ago, I was in the same situation,” said Van Raay in a handwritten letter that accompanied his cheque to the food bank.
Danielle McIntyre, executive director with Interfaith Food Bank, notes the importance of local philanthropy in providing for community services.
“Mr. Van Raay is a great example of someone who knows what it means to give back to the community. When public funds aren’t available, it’s up to us as citizens to create the world we’d like to live in,” said McIntyre in a release.
Interfaith is partnering formally with Lethbridge Food Bank and MyCityCare to distribute emergency food assistance, and also participating with a leadership group of agencies such as the Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, school districts and Salvation Army, among others to co-ordinate food supports during the COVID-19 response.
Organizers encourage community members to connect with their charity of choice to make a contribution, volunteer time, or to help in inspiring others to come together in trying times.
Van Raay notes the importance of standing together: “I hope and pray that this contribution will help at least a few people who are less fortunate. We keep our Christmas lights on as a sign of hope. Maybe other people will join us!”
For more information about Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge, visit http://www.interfaithfoodbank.ca or call 403-320-8779.