Lots of people care about other people, but educator Wendy Erlanger goes a step further – she does something about it.
After spending 24 years in California, circumstances demanded that she head back to Winnipeg. While she wasn’t terribly excited at the prospect of coming back to winter, she took to heart the wisdom that her friend shared with her, “You are going to paint your ‘W’ on Winnipeg, there is work for you to do there. When it is done, you will know why you went home.”
Well, Wendy has been home for only three years and she has definitely put her “W” on our city!
In 2010 she founded More than Shoes, a Manitoba grassroots movement that outfits children
in need with new, proper fitting shoes and boots. Using new and innovative fundraising ideas she has put new footwear on the feet of hundreds of children in need in Manitoba.
This year, after witnessing numerous family and friends struggling with cancer, Wendy decided to take action again. Realizing that much of the comfort she was able to give them was via homemade soup and small acts of kindness, Wendy called in a small army to contribute ideas and recipes that would comfort people when they need it most. More than Soup cookbook was born.
Wendy says, “Hearing, “let me know what I can do”, too many times as well as saying it myself, often unsure of the best ways to offer support, I felt this book was a must!” The cookbook was recently launched in grand fashion thanks to Ida Albo at the Fort Garry Hotel. A sampling of soups, bread and cookies, entertainment from local singer Sheena Grobb and a heartfelt speech from Janice Filmon rounded out the evening. The sales from the evening have been donated to Cancer Care Manitoba to fund their soup cart for one year. The soup cart provides soup for patients in the chemo rooms and waiting rooms at Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and refreshments at Sherbrook Cancer Centre.
If you are looking to give a meaningful holiday gift this year, visit www.MoreThanSoup.net and give a gift that gives twice. All proceeds will go to the year two funding of the soup cart.
We would all do well to think about what leaving our ‘mark’ on Winnipeg (or your own city, of course) means to us. No doubt the world will be a better place to live if we take positive, pro-active action. Go put your initial on your town!