Paul Davis: Supporting Local Food Pantries through a Creative CAN Challenge Food Drive

Donation drives are a popular and effective way to collect much-needed food for area food banks, but if you really want to engage your team members and make your food drive something everyone will be talking about, give them an added challenge to see what can be built with the donated items. That’s exactly what the creative Social Purpose Champions at Paul Davis did, and the results were incredible!

Building for Prizes & Bragging Rights

As you’ll see from the pictures in this post, team members took the challenge seriously and unleashed their creativity building fabulous structures out of donated canned goods. Photos of the structures were shared with the Paul Davis network and prizes were awarded for the locations with the Most Votes and the Most Cans.

All food collected was donated to local and human food pantries, many of which are in great need during summer months. Lots of companies organize food drives during the holiday season, which is  helpful, but by the time summer rolls around, many food banks are faced with empty shelves.

Hunger Bites won the award for Most Votes

More than 1,180 cans were used to build the Animal House structure

A Fun Challenge with a Big Impact

In addition to highly coveted bragging rights, the LLCO Animal House structure won in the Most Cans category with 1,188 cans, and Hunger Bites won Most Votes. Some offices took the challenge even further by incorporating other fun team building events including company BBQs and bowling outings. Collectively the challenge netted more than 3,100 cans of food!

“Words cannot express my gratitude, respect, and appreciation to everyone involved in this event,” said Quality Assurance Analyst Waleska Gonzalez. “Helping others when they need it the most is a cause I keep close to my heart and I am always looking for an opportunity to create awareness. I was happy to see the passion and commitment from my PD family.”

The PDR Jacksonville team created a unique cat structure using their cans

The team behind the Strike Out Hunger display continued their theme with an employee bowling party

Paul Davis Talent and Change Leader and JASMYN Volunteer Kali Freeland added, “At PDRI in Jacksonville, we donated the cans from our structure to a local LGBT Youth Crisis Center, JASMYN. JASMYN normally receives donations during the winter months, so they were especially grateful for Summer donations. I’m personally very proud to support this organization and I’m grateful that Paul Davis is embracing Social Purpose as well as Inclusion and Diversity!”  

Add Some Creativity to Your Next Food Drive

So if you are looking to give your next food drive an added element of team building and fun, consider issuing a “CAN challenge” to your team members.

CollegePro: Support our North American Food Drive

This month, College Pro is hosting a food drive across North America from the Full-Time to the Franchisees! Throughout our franchise divisions,we are working to see who can compile the largest non-perishable food donation in their area. We challenge anyone in the FirstService Community to do the same! If you’d like to get involved with us, compile and donate all non-perishable food items to your local food bank, or send them to our London office!

FirstService: Providing needed funds to ensure students receive healthy meals

At FirstService’s Toronto office, the Social Responsibility Committee is always looking for ways the team can positively impact its community. Child poverty is a growing problem, and many children do not receive adequate nutrition as a result.  Through a series of “Breakfast Club” fundraisers, the team raised $1,960 to fund Student Nutrition Programs in the Toronto area.  For every $100 raised, 70 children will receive a hot and healthy breakfast. 100% of the donations collected by the team went directly into these programs.
“Food security is something many of us take for granted. For kids, having access to nutritious meals affects their ability to focus and learn in school,” said Erica Foster, senior manager, accounting and part of FirstService’s Social Responsibility Committee. “Toronto Foundation for Student Success’ mission to help students succeed by providing meals is something that resonated to many of us and we wanted to do our part to help ensure no child in Toronto begins the school day hungry.

Pictured with Shannon Quesnelle, Associate Director, Development & Communications, Toronto Foundation for Student Success (third from left): Michael Smith, Deborah Kelley, Ryan Bedrich, Erica Foster and Scott Patterson


FirstService Residential: Big Heart Brigade Thanksgiving Meal Prep

FirstService Residential is looking for 20 volunteers to lend a helping hand to prepare meals for the annual Big Heart Brigade Thanksgiving Feast. The event brings together thousands of volunteers from South Florida to prepare and distribute individually packaged Thanksgiving meals. Tasks may include setting up tents, fences, cooking side dishes and more! Each Thanksgiving, the Big Heart Brigade, along with over 2,500 volunteers, will feed more than 75,000 people. Show your support and join us by Building Great Relationships & Doing What’s Right as we give back to our community this holiday! Please click on the following link to confirm your spot:

Poolman: Join Our Donation Drive to Help Andre House

Poolman Arizona is lending their team of helping hands to the André House located in Phoenix. André House refers to themselves as “A House of Hospitality” providing their services to hundreds of people in need everyday. They serve 550 guests dinner daily, over 170,000 yearly, they clean over 1800 loads of laundry a year, provide more than 7,400 showers, and have provided more than 7,700 sets of clothing to their guests yearly. Poolman will start collecting a designated list of most needed items at their offices located at 3242 S. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85040 on October 15th, and wrap up their drive on November 16th. The most needed items they’ll be collecting are:
  • Face/wash cloths
  • Family Size Bottles of Shampoo
  • Family Size Bottles of Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Men’s Pants 28 – 34 Waist
  • Men’s Belts
  • Sweatshirts – Men’s and Women’s
  • Backpacks

FirstService Residential: Help us in donating to the St. James Food Drive!

We will be collecting items for the St. James Food Pantry starting October 15, 2018!  We’ll be vying to tip the scales when the total weight of the collected food is calculated at the conclusion of the food drive at noon on October 26, 2018. Donation items can be dropped off at the FirstService Kansas City office. Monetary donations will also be accepted in lieu of food items to buy tax-exempt food at the store, and will be credited to the appropriate donation teams at a rate of 1 pound per dollar. The winning team will be announced at our Monster Bash on October 31, 2018! This event is open to everyone who wants to donate! Items Most Needed: – Peanut Butter – Jelly – Canned Spaghetti Sauce – Canned Meat & Tuna – Canned Fruit – Canned Vegetables – Evaporated Milk – Mushroom Soup – Turkey Gravy

FirstService Residential: Join Us in the Outrun Hunger Palm Beach County 5K

Join Feeding South Florida for a 5K as we Outrun Hunger! Outrun Hunger is a fundraising event supporting Feeding South Florida’s mission to end hunger in South Florida. Feeding South Florida is the largest and most efficient food bank in each county it serves. For every $1 donated, Feeding South Florida provides 6 meals or $12 worth of grocery products. Feeding Palm Beach County serves 189,940 individuals struggling to put food on the table in Palm Beach County – 53,630 of whom are children and nearly 40,000 of whom are older adults. Learn more: If you have questions regarding the registration or to set up carpooling, contact me directly:  

FirstService Corporation: Harvesting Produce to #FirstServeOthers

August 23, 2018, was back-to-school day for 20 FirstService Corporation employees who visited the Bendale Business Technical Institute (Bendale BTI) campus. But instead of carrying backpacks and laptops, volunteers donned gardening gloves and garden tools. This back-to-school day was different than most. On this day, the team volunteered to tend to the vegetable gardens at Bendale BTI as part of a community service initiative to support FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization established in 1985 whose mission is to partner with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and education.

FoodShare’s School Grown is an innovative schoolyard farming project, where fruits and vegetables are grown on school lawns and rooftops to create student employment. Students learn it all – from seeding to weeding, to harvesting produce and running their own farmers markets twice a week in two locations in the City of Toronto, Borden Farmers Market and East Lynn Farmers Market.

School Grown produce is shared with students, sold to the public at local farmers markets and donated to food share programs to support the culinary classes and lunches at Bendale BTI and Eastdale CI.

Bendale BTI launched its garden on a ¼ acre of school lawn in 2010. In addition to learning horticulture, students get to harvest and cook garden-grown produce, helping them to establish healthy eating habits and lifelong skills. The results of the program have been impressive.

  • 30 School Grown youth employed in 2017
  • 37,913 lbs of food harvested from School Grown gardens
  • $203,641 paid out in youth wages to date

During the summer months student employees are off for summer break so volunteers are needed to help tend the gardens. The FirstService team was looking for a teambuilding event which included a community service component as part of its #FirstServeOthers initiative, and that could accommodate 20 volunteers — which can be a challenge to find. FoodShare Toronto was a perfect fit.

Orlando Martin Lopez Gomez, Bendale BTI’s Urban Agriculture Manager, educated participants about the program and the varieties of produce grown on-site. He divided the group into teams who were each tasked with different duties including weeding and tending to the tomato plants. Before long they got to dig in and begin the rewarding task of harvesting fresh produce. Turnips, radishes, tomatoes, and beans were all harvested, cleaned and packed – ready to be taken to the farmers market for sale. Along the way, volunteers got to sample a wide range of organic produce including colorful and sweet tomatoes, kale, peppery arugula, spicy radishes, several varieties of lettuce and even raw okra.

Just some of the organic produce harvested by the FirstService team

A highlight of the day was getting to sample fresh from the farm produce

“When planning our event, we looked at a number of different volunteer opportunities and were intrigued when we learned about FoodShare Toronto,” said Michael Smith, who works as a strategy and corporate development analyst and was part of the event planning team. “Most of us spend our days behind desks working on computers so to have the opportunity to get outdoors, roll up our sleeves and dig in was a great change of pace. Because students were off for the summer, the gardens needed some TLC and we were able to make an immediate impact, which was extremely rewarding.”

This was an eye-opening experience for many who had no idea such urban farms existed in the city, and certainly not on school grounds. For more information about the wide array of programs offered by FoodShare Toronto please visit

20 volunteers from FirstService ready to #FirstServeOthers at FoodShare Toronto


Pillar To Post: Feeding Medina County Shave Off Fundraiser

Greg Snyder of Pillar To Post’s Ferguson Team in Medina, Ohio has challenged Sam Livingston of RE/MAX to see who can raise the most money for Feed Medina County. Feed Medina County puts food on the table for children, families and seniors who are at risk of hunger. Both gentlemen will be shaving off their beards at an open house hosted by RE/MAX. Catch the live stream of the shave off on Greg’s  Facebook  page at noon! If you wish to make a tax-deductible  donation, please click here.      

FirstService Corporation: FoodShare Toronto ~ An Edible Education

FirstService Corporation employees will be spending the morning on the east side of Toronto harvesting, watering and weeding a large school vegetable garden. The program is organized by FoodShare Toronto (, a not-for-profit that works with schools and communities to deliver healthy food and food education. We will be out in the garden rain or shine – if the forecast is for rain please dress accordingly. To provide you with some more context, here is a Toronto Star article profiling the garden: We would also like to request a small donation (~$10 per person) to support FoodShare’s continuing efforts throughout the city. This event is a FirstService Corporation employee event, however, we will look for opportunities to expand it in the future. If you are interested in learning more about this type of opportunity so that you can organize an event for yourself or your office, please don’t hesitate to contact us.