We asked you to share acts of kindness — and were flooded with hundreds of heart-warming tales

·3 min read

OK, Calgarians, you've blown us away at CBC Calgary!

As part of CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Food Bank Drive in December this year, we urged people to share stories about how they showed or received an act of kindness and they were entered to win a local prize pack through our "Make the Season Kind" contest.

We were flooded with more than one hundred heart-warming tales of how ordinary Albertans were helped or gave help despite the uncertain economic times and the spectre of COVID-19 hanging over our heads.

We published many of them in a series of web stories to help spread the spirit of good cheer over the holidays.

The stories ranged from bigs acts of kindness to little things that add up significantly.

In one act of kindness, strangers who after seeing another couple collide with a deer while driving down Highway 22, offered them a ride despite the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter them in their home until their son could drive from B.C. to come pick them up.

In another, Grade 8 students from Millarville Community School went to the school on the weekend, with the help of parents, to decorate the outside with Christmas cheer and encouraging words for the students and staff still attending the school in person.

Submitted by Kaitlyn Hanson
Submitted by Kaitlyn Hanson

Dakshima Haputhanthri shared how much they struggled initially after moving to Canada five years ago. Now, four years later and now a social worker and graduate from University of Calgary, Haputhanthriwas able to pay the generosity forward by donating to the food bank and to Angel's Cafe at Edworthy Park (which was providing 100 meals to children at Ronald McDonald House). Haputhanthri also created fruit baskets to a professor who helped during a time of need.

Others who are far away from some of their family members, like Carolyn Pelerine, helped local seniors. In return, Pelerine's friend back in Nova Scotia was doing the same for her elderly mother.

Tracy Noga, who lives in a three-story walkup building in the Marda Loop area, was told by the landlord that rent was free in December for all their tenants.

"I wanted to cry," Noga said. "Incredible gesture by already wonderful landlords who've always taken great care of our building anyway."

Supplied by Elizabeth Sentner
Supplied by Elizabeth Sentner

Meanwhile Carolyn Mahovlich took on the dental bill of a stranger, an elderly veteran who may not have been able to afford it.

"He told [the receptionist] over and over he couldn't pay," Mahovlich said, who paid for the man's appointment when he left. "I mean, this man went to war for me … Driving home I've never felt so grateful to be in the right place, at the right time, to help such a special person. God bless veterans, lest we forget."

And in another story, a mother was told by her child that they identified as gender non-binary and wanted a haircut that reflected that identity — just before the lockdown would shut down salons and most were full for booking. After mentioning this to her friend group, one person offered to give up their upcoming appointment.

"I was so grateful and felt such a big weight lifted from my shoulders and heart knowing that my child would not have to spend the next four weeks feeling dysmorphic about their hair."

Julia Millen, a choral singer, said 2020 marks at least the 10th year of donating her professional singing gig money to the Calgary Food Bank via the CBC Food Bank Drive.

Thanks for all your stories, donations and acts of kindness Alberta!

In Calgary, for 35 years, residents have been donating to the Calgary Food Bank through CBC/Radio-Canada's annual drive, raising more than $20 million.

Last Thursday, CBC Calgary's Blitz Day officially hit its goal — raising $1 million in donations for the Calgary Food Bank. As of this Thursday morning, we were at $1,203,011.

Read more heart-warming stories like these, see: