The Chestermere Tim Hortons is supporting three local charities with funds raised through the Smile Cookie campaign.
This year, the funds raised from the weeklong Smile Cookie campaign were allocated to the Chestermere Women’s Crisis Society, Synergy, and the Chestermere Food Bank, Franchisee Andrew Marriott explained at the May 16 council meeting.
“100 per cent of the sales from the campaign will be donated equally to the three Chestermere charities,” Marriott said.
For nearly two decades, the local Tim Hortons has supported residents through baseball, soccer, and hockey initiatives, and worked with local not-for-profit organizations.
“For 17 years we’ve been proud to donate our product back to many not-for-profit organizations serving the volunteers of our community, those who truly give their heart and soul to giving back to our great city,” Marriott said. “Our Smile Cookie program is one that really hits home for our team members in Chestermere.”
Smile Cookie sales and donations have supported communities across the country, but it was important for Marriott to ensure the funds raised in Chestermere stayed in the community.
“The residents of Chestermere have always supported our Smile Cookie program, and our restaurant consistently achieves one of the highest sales of Smile Cookie sales in Alberta,” Marriott said. “This year, we finished with record sales of over $13,000, finishing in second place in the Calgary and surrounding area. To finish second is amazing.”
The Smile Cookie campaign is newly supporting the Chestermere Women’s Crisis Society in providing emergency shelter, counselling services, legal resources, clothing and food security to vulnerable women in the community.
“The society envisions a world without violence against women and where women are safe and have easy access to basic needs for themselves and their children,” Marriott said.
The society used the financial contributions for supplies for emergency shelters, transportation for clients, volunteer training, and educational materials.
It was important for Marriott that Smile Cookie funds were also donated to Synergy as the organization has been a staple in Chestermere.
“They support every demographic and provide a safe place for residents to turn to,” Marriott said. “Youth who do not fit into other programs because of barriers, such as cost, mental health, or lack of acceptance in their gender identity find a place to belong with Synergy.”
Synergy also supports residents navigating challenges related to the pandemic, residents who face prejudice, support new community groups, and help with local events.
“They provide much-needed physical operating space for not-for-profits, and simply support them during tough times,” Marriott said.
The Smile Cookie campaign has supported the Chestermere Food Bank since day one.
Through campaign donations, the food bank is able to secure large shipments of donated food and purchase and transport fresh foods for clients.
“With the current cost of groceries, they have seen 35 new families in the first quarter of 2023, that simply can’t make ends meet,” Marriott said. “This funding will ensure the food bank can keep up with the increase of demand.”
A total of 124 families, 344 clients and four volunteers have benefited from the community donations, Marriott noted.
“Our local Tim Hortons will not stop with all of these programs,” Marriott said. “We know how important it is for our local Tim’s to continue to give back to the Chestermere community we serve.”
Going forward, Marriott is organizing another community support program coming later in the year.
“It is so important what you do in this community, and it doesn’t go unnoticed, it’s very much appreciated,” City Councillor Shannon Dean said. “There is so much thanks from the not-for-profit community for the multiple ways that you continue to support.”