A wish rooted in philanthropy led to almost 1000 pounds of food and $500 for those in need in London. The wish was that of Korean War veteran George Browning, made possible by the Royal Canadian Legion - Ladies Auxiliary who sponsor the Dreams and Wishes program at Parkwood Institute. The program provides veterans an opportunity to fulfill a special dream or wish. For George this meant giving back to the community by ensuring London’s homeless do not go hungry. He organized a food drive, collecting non-perishable food items from staff and fellow residents.
“George has such a big heart and always looks out for people,” says Alida van Dijk, staff chaplain at Parkwood Institute. “His wish choice didn’t surprise anyone. He is always giving to others.”
It was a cold and windy day as George was bundled and loaded onto the bus on Feb. 15 to deliver the donation to the London Food Bank. This didn’t hinder his joy one bit as he smiled and gave thumbs up all along the way.
“I can’t believe how much food is here,” said George when looking at all the items donated piled into the bus. “I’ll go down in history.”
Once he arrived he was greeted by the London Food Bank’s Honorary Chair, Peter Harding along with staff and volunteers. “It’s because of people like you, George, who make this all possible,” said Peter. “We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful gift you’ve given us.”
George was provided a tour of the building and learned how things were sorted, stored and provided to those in need.
As a special surprise, George’s daughter presented a $500 donation in honour of his late wife. George’s heart was full of joy and he was brought to tears when receiving the news of a 980 pound donation.
“I’ll tell you right now, I’m happy, so happy and so proud; not only for me, but for the people I’ve done the work for,” said George. “I’m glad I got to help get what we wanted to get done.”