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Saskatoon Soup Sisters

They may have a small office, but Saskatoon has huge enthusiasm for Foundation initiatives, with 14 volunteers turning out for their second annual Soup Sisters event on March 25, 2019. The numbers were topped up by three staff members’ partners, and two colleagues visiting from the Calgary branch.

“This year we wanted to be challenged and took on three large soup batches,” says community planner, Carolyn Dunn, who has been the branch’s Foundation core connector for over two years, and originally introduced the team to Soup Sisters. “It was great having extra people join our team for the evening. It was fun, collaborative, and we even learned a few kitchen skills from each other!”

The volunteers included: Bryan Gray, Grant Campbell (wife, Stephanie), Chad Watson, Brock Katz (partner, Brittany), Tonii Lerat, Roberto Binda, Clayton Drewlo, Carolyn Dunn, Dan Surkan (partner, Justin), Shannon Qualie, and Avee Purohit. Sharing all the washing, peeling and chopping tasks, the group made a vast amount of soup.

“Judging from the photo, I think we made about 53 litres,” says Carolyn, after counting up all the containers of a litre of soup in each.

The ‘chefs’ made three recipes: chicken noodle; sweet and sour beef cabbage; and carrot parsnip coconut.

It was the first time volunteering at Soup Sisters for about half of the group, while others have participated in similar initiatives in Saskatoon or elsewhere.

“The event was a great team-building exercise for our office as the majority of our office staff were able to attend,” says Dan Surkan, an EIT at the Saskatoon branch who took the lead in organizing this year’s event.

“The Soup Sisters volunteers were friendly and welcoming and I think we all enjoyed the snacks and beverages they provided which gave us a great time to connect outside of work. The best part was hearing from a staff member from the organizations which would be receiving the soup. It felt very rewarding to know that our fun evening would also have a positive impact on our community. It also didn’t hurt that we got to sample the soups as well. I don’t mean to brag, but they were pretty darn tasty!”

After cooling, soups are delivered to Saskatoon Interval House and Adelle House. Saskatoon Interval House is an emergency, temporary shelter for women and their children who require safe accommodation away from domestic violence. Interval House also provides counselling, advocacy, information and crisis calls services. Adelle House is a twelve-unit apartment building operated by Interval House as second stage housing. It is for women moving on from abusive relationships and provides an opportunity to work together to develop a safe, enriched community for themselves and their children.

“Our team was very pleased to support the Saskatoon Interval House and Adelle House again, and was glad to hear that the soups could bring some warmth to those in need,” says Carolyn.

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