Strathmore’s annual Soup 4 Soldiers campaign is back for another round, spearheaded by Strathmore High School’s Emma Moore once again.
The campaign will be operating from Nov. 1-10, with no specific goal set in mind. Moore said simply the campaign will be grateful for any donations that folks are able to send in.
“Last year, the collected total was 4,699 non-perishable food items, and in 2020, it was 2,127 non-perishable food items. This year, my goal is to hit 5,000 but really, anything is accepted,” she said.
For her third year running the campaign, Moore has partnered with a host of returning schools and businesses, as well as a handful of new schools.
Crowther Memorial, Strathmore High School, Brentwood School, Westmount School, Sacred Heart Academy and Calgary’s Branton School are all supporting Soup 4 Soldiers this year.
“This year, I am also honouring Mrs. (Anne) Paskevich – she was a teacher at Crowther Memorial who passed away this year, and she was the one who introduced me to Soup 4 Soldiers,” said Moore. “I’m hoping that we have some good pickup from Crowther Memorial especially, but I’m just happy that this year, I am able to honour her memory. She is really one of the main people who told me to continue my initiatives and she was a major influence in them.”
Moore jumped in to run Soup 4 Soldiers in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were unable to hold typical Remembrance Day ceremonies, and she wanted to still find a meaningful way to give back to veterans.
She added that after hearing about the campaign, she figured it would be a great opportunity for students to still do something meaningful, without needing to gather in one place.
“I had thought, what better way to donate, especially because there was such a need then, and there still is now, to be able to expand,” said Moore.
Though she has been heavily involved in the Soup 4 Soldiers campaign for the last three years, as well as a variety of other fundraisers around Strathmore, Moore will not be continuing next season, as she will be starting her post-secondary education out of town.
Moore added discussions are in the works for somebody to fill her shoes, so to speak, next year, but planning is very much still in its early stages.
“Nothing is solid, but I’m hoping it’s a possibility … I understand that it is a lot of work and it would take a lot for whoever chooses to keep doing this,” she said. “It is definitely very bittersweet. It is very sad to me that it will be done, but I also feel like it is going to be a little bit of a new chapter, and I can see other ways that I can make an impact.”
Dropoff locations for the campaign will be located at Brentwood School, Crowther Memorial, Strathmore High School and Sacred Heart Academy throughout the entire campaign.
Westmount School acted as a drop-off point from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4. Those who are interested in donating can also contact Moore directly via Facebook to arrange a pickup or drop-off at another location.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times