Kindness Krew keeps on giving
For the past year, the Kindness Krew at Parkwood Institute has been spreading goodwill through various pursuits and the pandemic has not stopped this charitable group of individuals from making a difference. In fact, it has spurred them on.
Made up of 16 Veterans and numerous staff from the Veterans Care Program, the Kindness Krew is a program where staff and Veterans work together to brainstorm and support charitable causes. It follows the leisure well-being model of practice, which focuses on the use of leisure-based interventions to enhance well-being. The program also offers Veterans an opportunity for community integration. Participants are those who have an interest in volunteering and/or who are seeking purposeful activity.
“The program is intended for Veterans with varying levels of cognitive and physical abilities, who have an interest in volunteering and for those who are seeking purposeful activity,” says Alexis More, therapeutic recreational specialist. “With each new charitable initiative, we ensure that there are jobs that match each Veterans’ specific strengths.”
Once a week, this dedicated group gather safelyE to prepare lunches for vulnerable, homeless and hungry men who rely on the services of the Men’s Mission in London. More than 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and delicious cookies are prepared by this group for men who are often desperate for their next meal.
Men’s Mission is a branch of Mission Services of London, Ontario that functions as an emergency hostel for men, from ages 16 years and over, experiencing homelessness. The service also acts as a residence for men who require longer-term care and support.
“Being mainly men themselves, they could personally relate to this specific population,” adds Alexis. “The current economy had them wanting to ensure these men had access to a delicious meal at least once per week.”
The Krew even has its own signature label that is placed on each sandwich and cookie bag that reads, “Made by Veterans at Parkwood Institute.” Over this past holiday season, the groups also held a donation drive for the Men’s Mission and assembled care packages with the donated supplies, which included lip chap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, socks, snacks, Kleenex, and other useful items.
“It makes me feel good to help,” says WW II Veteran Bill Webb, who perhaps knows first-hand how a good meal can make a big difference when you are tired, hungry – and without a home to call your own.