Sometimes a bit of hope can get you through a difficult time. That’s why Di-Corp is pleased to support the work of H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen in North Bay, ON, home of our drill rod and coring tool manufacturing plant.
H.O.P.E.’s (which stands for Help Our People Eat) grew out of the compassion and caring of Katie Valiquette and Chris Brown, a husband and wife team and co-owners of Flat Rate Towing in North Bay. When COVID-19 forced the temporary closure of North Bay’s only warming centre for homeless people, and temperatures dipped down to -20C, the couple helped fill the gap by welcoming people into their towing company garage while observing social distancing regulations. In addition to offering a break from the cold, Valiquette and Brown fired up their barbecue and provided their guests with a hot meal. And their generosity didn’t stop there.
Seeing an ongoing need, over the last several months the couple have been using a lot of their own money to open and run H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen, a 24-hour restaurant that is open to everyone but also works with volunteer groups like Boots on the Ground to provide food to the homeless in and around North Bay. The impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and employment has led to an increase in homelessness, so H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen is now moving to an expanded location to meet the growing need. Longer term, the plan is to use profits from the restaurant to buy a piece of land and build an affordable housing community for North Bay’s homeless population.
“Hearing the story of H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen inspired us to get involved,” said Di-Corp’s Plant Manager, Chris van Schaayk. “Two members of our North Bay team, Chad Smith and Katarina Kosy, brought it to our attention and encouraged us to contribute as a company.”
On Friday, December 18, 2020, Ms. Kosy and Mr. Smith visited H.O.P.E.’s to present a $2,500 donation on behalf of Di-Corp.
“This year has been tough on every household and every business,” said Smith. “Katie and Chris have their own business to run. They didn’t have to take on this extra challenge, but they did.”
“We’re proud of them, and proud to help support them in their work at H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen,” added Katarina.
For others who would like to give some hope this holiday season and beyond, you can contribute through the H.O.P.E.’s Kitchen GoFundMe page.