CBC Turkey Drive: Spreading cheer and filling freezers

Annual Edmonton food drive demonstrates community's generosity of spirit

By Leon Zupan, Chief Operating Officer, Liquids Pipelines

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of announcing Enbridge’s $40,000 contribution to the annual CBC Turkey Drive in Edmonton. This event is designed to collect frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items, and contributions to Edmonton’s Food Bank.

The 19th annual CBC Turkey Drive in Edmonton aims to raise about $500,000 – the equivalent of about 20,000 turkeys for hungry members of our community. This holiday food drive represents a tremendous opportunity for us to demonstrate the generosity of spirit in our community, and the strong social safety net that we all help to maintain.

Leon Zupan execshot
Leon Zupan, Enbridge's Chief Operating Officer, Liquids Pipelines.

I had an opportunity to speak to Mark Connolly of CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM program about why this particular event has become so special to our workforce in Edmonton. Our support of the food bank in Alberta’s capital city started with a cash donation, but has now grown to an effort that encourages employees and their leaders to collaborate and support our community through their time, their ideas and their donations.

This past summer, we were involved in a similar campaign in Edmonton. We were made aware that Five Hole for Food – a cross-Canada tour featuring ball hockey tournaments, camaraderie, and food bank donation and awareness drives – needed a boost during its annual stop in Edmonton. Enbridge leaders and some of our local suppliers rallied around this event, and helped to make it one of the most successful food-drive events across Canada in 2014. Our employees helped the organizers, entered teams, and collected 560 kilograms of food for donation. That led to more employees and departments volunteering their time at the local food bank, where volunteers are almost always needed. Now other departments have followed that model, and are also getting involved.

Initiatives like these are a regular occurrence at Enbridge. Our employees in Houston regularly turn out to volunteer for the Houston Food Bank in various capacities. And our employee-led 2014 United Way campaign, which helps to build stronger communities, recently wrapped up with a record-breaking fundraising total of $6.25-million across our North American enterprise.

Enbridge has committed for many years to donating a percentage of our profits back to the communities where we live, work and play. And while money is important, it is the engagement of our most important resource, our people, that is the ultimate goal. Our corporate donation to Edmonton’s Food Bank is but one example of starting with a gift of money, broadening it to a gift of time, and ultimately allowing for collaboration between charities and our employees.

We’re very proud of these partnerships, and we recognize that it’s our people who can – and do – make the biggest difference in our communities.

To all members of the Enbridge team who’ve gotten involved, thank you. And to all those who may be interested in being a part of this success, welcome aboard – there’s plenty of room.