A Merriam-Webster definition of partnership is “a relationship that involves close cooperation between parties having specific and joined rights and responsibilities.” We are so fortunate in this city to have as many robust partnerships as we do, and this column will speak to two of our partnership projects.
An enhanced partnership this year involves the St. Albert Kinettes and Christmas. The Kinettes have been offering their Christmas hamper program for over 50 years and are passionate about ensuring the best possible Christmas for families who need it. This year, 2023, will be the 16th year that the St. Albert Food Bank will offer a Christmas hamper program and this year we will be collaborating with the Kinettes to offer a coordinated Christmas hamper service.
As a food bank we prepare hampers regularly and are happy to offer our space and expertise to help get the Christmas hampers out. As before, the Kinettes will be doing their usual Christmas fundraisers like the “Fill-a-bus;” however, this year the donated food will come to the food bank for sorting and hamper assembly.
We have long partnered with the St. Albert Salvation Amy in providing gifts for children to accompany the hamper. They have been running a beautiful Christmas “store” for about 5 years where families can go to choose the gifts for their children, allowing for both fun and individuality of chosen items. This year, the toys the Kinettes gather will go to the Salvation Army to help supply the Christmas store for clients of both partners.
The Kinettes’ food hampers will be delivered as before; the difference this year is that there will be 3 delivery days instead of a one-day blitz. The St. Albert Food Bank will continue to offer a pick-up option for families who prefer that over delivery. Outwardly our clients may see little difference from past years, but we will enjoy the power of this collaborative relationship that offers both efficiency and a whole lot of fun.
The other partnership I would like to highlight is HomeShare. We are set up and ready to accept parties who are interested in sharing their home with someone who, in return, can assist with chores around the home for a reduced rent. This program has been very successful in other provinces and the low inventory of affordable housing in St. Albert makes this an opportune time to launch the program.
This program may be advantageous for a homeowner who may be struggling with the increased cost of utilities and who might benefit from some rental income in addition to some assistance with maintaining the household.
We have reviewed positive feedback from some home-sharing programs that promote intergenerational partnerships such as students moving in with older adults. We have a team of Social Workers who will oversee this program and who are really looking forward to be able to offer this alternative to the housing issues so many people are facing.
If you have any questions about HomeShare please contact the Village at [email protected]