When you walk through Siloam Mission and see caring and selfless volunteers working together to make someone else’s day better, you really get a true sense of kindness, generosity, and giving.
It was that spirit of generosity that made an impact on Danny Kleinsasser, the entrepreneur behind Danny’s Whole Hog, when he toured the non-profit organization for the first time.
And it inspired him to give back.
For the fifth year in a row, Kleinsasser has supported Siloam Mission by donating the dinner and catering services for their annual volunteer appreciation dinner, recently held at the RBC Convention Centre on May 1 this year.
“First time I toured their facility I had water in my eyes,” said Kleinsasser. “Think about that person off the street, they have everything in one bag. What they carry is in the one bag, that’s their life.”
Kleinsasser also says that seeing the energy each volunteer put into every different aspect of the organization is what really inspired him to give back. Kleinsasser has donated all the catering services for the volunteer dinner, which includes a full-course meal for nearly 800 volunteers.
“Why do you think they volunteer there? Because it’s deep from their heart. They want to give back to the community, they want to help somebody, they want to be a helping hand,” said Kleinsasser.
Siloam Mission sees approximately 8,000 volunteers each year, and each one of those volunteers are what keep the organization going.
“We can’t do what we do without volunteers. So being able to give back to them and thank them in any small way is important, but financially it’s always tough,” said Judy Richichi, the director of major gifts and corporate relations at Siloam Mission.
“They are very, very appreciative that Danny sponsors it because one thing that people don’t want is for us to spend money on them, and they want the money to go to the programs. So the fact that Danny sponsors it allows them to come out and have a really good time and feel that it’s not costing the Mission.”
Richichi noted that supporting the volunteers is just one of many things Kleinsasser has done to help the mission. Danny’s Whole Hog also donates leftover food to the guests at Siloam Mission and caters meals for the guests as well, when the kitchen has been shut down for renovations.
“It was pretty incredible. He’s a very sincere and humble person who just wants to make a difference and give back,” said Richichi. “It’s so obvious in his passion and it’s so obvious in who he is as a person. It’s just who he is to the core.”
The volunteer appreciation dinner for Siloam Mission is not only a unique way to recognize the volunteers, but it is also an opportunity for them to see just how much they contribute to the organization.
“It’s pretty incredible when you get 800 people that are all serving at the mission,” said Richichi.
“When you see how many people are involved it just makes you feel that much more passionate about what you do. It makes you feel part of a bigger cause and a bigger effort and a bigger division. That’s exciting and that’s encouraging and it makes you want to come back and do more.”
If you’re interested in volunteering at Siloam Mission, visit https://www.siloam.ca/volunteer/.