Welcoming Arms provides weekly meals to residents in need – and barely missed a beat in fulfilling its mandate throughout the global pandemic.
Helping to keep the Welcome Table program going, and more than 200 tummies satisfied, has been Jay Saveall, president of Aurora’s Green Side Up Contracting.
For their efforts in supporting the program, Saveall was recognized by the Town of Aurora with its 2021 Inclusivity Award.
Part of Aurora’s Community Recognition Awards program, the Inclusivity Award is presented to an individual, group or business “which has contributed to making the Town of Aurora a more accessible and inclusive place to live, work and play for all people.”
The award was presented virtually by Mayor Tom Mrakas at Trinity Anglican Church where Welcoming Arms operates.
“Welcoming Arms has continued to offer its Welcome Table program thanks in part to contributions made by our local Inclusivity Award winner Jay Saveall, president of Green Side Up Contracting,” said Mayor Mrakas. In 2020, Jay and Green Side Up Contracting dedicated the year to giving back to their hometown. They looked to create a more equitable and inclusive place for all Aurora residents to call home.
“During the pandemic, Jay recognized that now more than ever accessibility and meals for some Aurora residents was becoming increasingly difficult. To do their part, Green Side Up Contracting made a donation to Welcoming Arms to increase the supply of meals the foundation provides. This resulted in an additional 200 meals becoming accessible for Aurora residents. At Green Side Up Contracting, Jay has initiated a give back strategy: with each project over $10,000, the company generously donates $500 back to the corresponding community’s food pantry. Through this act of kindness, the Aurora Food Pantry frequently benefits from this program.”
Accepting the award last spring, Saveall said they were not content to rest on their laurels.
“I am very happy and grateful to receive the Inclusivity Award, but more importantly, we are so happy to give back to the community – to those in need, to the vulnerable, to those who need food,” he said. “We’re going to continue our campaign in 2021 and we’re going to come back and be giving back in a strong way.”
This sense of giving culminated with a donation of $7,000 to the Aurora Food Pantry just before Christmas, a presentation attended by Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leah Taylor Roy and Mayor Mrakas.
Brock Weir is a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative reporter at The Auroran