Members at Owen Sound Food Basics raise money to support co-worker

November 14, 2014 at 12:04pm

In October, the employees at Food Basics 939 and the community of Owen Sound came together to raise money for one of their co-workers, Jesse Westcott.

“Jesse is someone who always goes above and beyond to do his job,” explained co-worker Tania Slack. “He is one of the nicest, hardest working people here.”

Jesse, who is 23 years old, was diagnosed with cancer and has been fighting it for the last year. As a store, the workers raised $420 to help support Jesse, but wondered what they could raise if they got the community involved?

“We raffled off tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs game, which the Union gave us, and a $100 gift card donated by Metro,” said Tania. “As word spread, we had other prizes donated to the cause too!”

The community came together to raise more than $5,560 for Jesse and his family. “This event brought us together not just as a store, but we got to know our customers on a personal level because they shared their stories with us,” said Tania.

And the generosity of the community continued beyond just the raffle. The woman who won the Metro gift card decided to pay it forward and donated it to the food bank. The winner of four Owen Sound Attack hockey tickets was unable to attend because her own husband is fighting cancer too, so she donated her tickets to her neighbor who is a single dad of three kids.

“Seeing this kind of generosity and shared purpose is heartwarming,” said UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “I know our members are some of the most compassionate and giving people, and seeing this community come together to support Jesse is a great thing.”

We wish Jesse and his family all the best. Thank you to the amazing members at Food Basics 939 and the Owen Sound community.