A 12-year-old girl inspired her mom to spearhead a community dinner for those in need, and the holiday spirit has only continued to spread.
What began as an idea for serving hot chocolate and hot dogs has turned into a full course dinner to be served up at the Upper Room Mission Dec. 28. With other groups offering meals on Christmas Day, Sargeant and her crew decided to host their dinner a few days later, to offer food and other necessities over a wider range of time.
"My daughter Kayla pushed me to follow through," Sargeant says. "Every idea I had, she'd say 'do it, do it."
The enthusiasm was contagious. Sargeant says she emailed her network of friends, and in a flash, eight parents and their kids joined the cause. Sargeant's other daughter, Emma, who is seven, is also helping out. Sargeant says the group is united by a common goal: to make a difference, however big, this holiday season.
The experience is impacting both the adults, and the kids as they turn their thoughts to others this Christmas.
"The kids love it," Sargeant says. "They're more excited for the 28th than the 25th!"
She says seeing their hard work pay off will be a memorable moment for the youngsters.
The idea was born on Dec.4, giving the team only two weeks to plan a dinner that is expected to feed roughly 60 men, 40 women and 15 children. Sargeant admits she was worried they wouldn't be able to pull it off.
"But the community has been very generous," Sargeant says, adding that whenever she gets home, there are bags of food on her doorstep. The donations were overflowing in her garage, and she had to transport them to a hangar at the airport.
Sargeant says the group has more than enough volunteers, but that more donations are always welcome.
"We want to send people home with bags of food to last them a few more days, so we're asking for canned foods, soups, pasta, anything they can stock their shelves with," she says.
The group is also collecting donations for gift bags, comprising of shampoo, soap, and toothbrushes, to send away with guests.
"From the fourth to today, I really can't believe we're pulling this off," Sargeant says.
The dinner will be repeated next year, and the year after that, so long as the community keeps giving.
After the business of orchestrating the dinner, Sargeant isn't sure what she'll do to fill the void.
"I'm sure my daughter will come up with something," she says.
To learn how to get involved this year or next call Kari at: 250-306-0970.
Donations can be dropped off at 104-4900 Heritage Drive.