Thanks to one local RCMP officer 1,600 loaves of Dempster’s bread were donated to the community last Thursday.
Constable Taylor Callens has been working with the Williams Lake RCMP for close to three years now and enjoys getting involved with the local community.
One of the ways he does this is by serving as a mentor, or big brother, for Big Brothers and Sisters of Williams Lake.
On the last season of The Amazing Race Canada Heroes edition, Callens and his sister Constable Courtney Callens, with the Langley RCMP detachment, raced across the country and came in second overall after a hard fought competition. Callens said it was a fun and amazing experience, made even more so by one of the prizes he won.
On the Toronto leg, rather than win a personal prize Callens and his sister won a community prize of $5,000 worth of bread from Dempsters.
Callens said that he immediately knew who he was going to donate it to upon winning.
“It made it a little more special, right, when you can give something back to your community as opposed to just taking it all for yourself,” Callens said. “I volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, so I was pretty excited when I could give them the call and let them know (I was donating.)”
For him, being part of the organization has allowed him to see all the good it does for the community through installing positive role models in families and he wished to give them an extra boost while helping his community. Callens also praised Amazing Race Canada and Dempsters for the prize which equals roughly 1,600 loaves of bread.
“That’s 1,600 dinner tables they’re going on,” Callens said.
Actually being there in person to see all the people the bread is going to was special for Callens, as when he was on the mat winning the prize it was just a number. Now seeing members of the community and half a dozen aid groups loading up their cars and trucks makes him feel like the Christmas spirit came early to lakecity.
Mentoring coordinator Tasha Pilkington said that when they received the call they were shocked and incredibly excited by the donation.
“We thought ‘Oh my Goodness, 1,600 loaves of bread wow that’s amazing. When we found out it was going to be delivered in time for Christmas we started calling all the agencies in town,” Pilkington said.
Roughly a dozen of those agencies were on hand to collect their shares of the bread, with more to be distributed throughout the next week to more agencies and school lunch programs as well. Pilkington had a list that broke down the exact distribution of the bread with 600 loaves going to the Salvation Army, 50 each going to Cataline, Marie Sharpe and Neskia while Pregnancy Outreach, Little Moccasins, Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre and the Women’s Contact Society all taking 100.
The Boys and Girls Club, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Star Fish and Sacred heart were also planning on taking bread with the remainder to be potentially distributed between the Women’s Contact Society and Salvation Army.
In addition, they also set aside a stack of bread to be directly distributed to at-need community members, which was quickly and orderly divided up between 20 individuals.
“It’s for the community, anyone, we just wanted to help out everybody in Williams Lake anyone in need of bread come one down we said and I was so happy to see so many people come on down, it’s amazing,” Pilkington said.
Callen’s Little Brother with the program Kerbey Inscho was shy and spoke few words but described his Big Brother as fun and cool while often takeing him out skating on the lake.
“Big thing I would say is get out in your community a couple hours a week. It doesn’t take a lot of time but it makes the world a better place,” Callens said. “Time’s there, you just got to make it.”