The way we give back to our community means something different for everyone. For some, it’s donating to support the work of a charity. For others, giving back means volunteering their time or rallying others to a cause.
Olympic boxer and former Communitech staff member Mandy Bujold wanted to find a way to give back to the people and small businesses who have supported her training and competitions over the years. This week, Bujold is launching Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul, a monthly subscription box of locally-made items, with proceeds going to support the foundations at St. Mary’s General Hospital, Grand River Hospital Foundation and the Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation.
“My motivation came from having to go out to the local community to get support so I could compete at international events and go to the Olympic Games,” Bujold, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics in July and in Rio in 2016, said today in an interview. “The community has always been 100-per-cent supportive along that journey, so I wanted to find a way to give back to the people who gave me so much.”
Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul is a monthly subscription service that includes products from local businesses such as All Things Tea, Esta Chocolates, Cocoon Apothecary, The Woodenboat Food Co. and others. Bujold said the boxes are a great way to introduce people to things made here in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.
“I feel very connected to the community, but as I’ve been doing this research, I’ve found hundreds of small vendors and businesses that I didn’t even know existed,” Bujold said.
The subscription service provides opportunities for businesses to fill large orders and also connect with new customers.
“This helps introduce them to the community and then hopefully that drives subscribers back to the actual business to get in the habit of supporting something that’s being made right here locally instead of a big box store,” Bujold said.
All Things Tea owner Susan Parks said in a press release that it was an easy decision to support Bujold and the Community Haul program.
“When Mandy Bujold approached us to be part of her newly launching Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul box, we were in. To be a part of something that supports our fellow small business owners, brings a totally unique offering to the community and gives back to local healthcare – what’s there to think about?” Parks said.
The first box ships to subscribers next month. Bujold said there isn’t a specific theme to the boxes; instead, each one is an opportunity to discover new businesses and products.
“I wanted to be able to introduce new vendors each month. People will know the vendors in each box, but they won’t know the exact product because we want to keep that a surprise. It’s fun when you get a surprise,” she said.
The three charitable partners of the Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul will each receive $5 from each box purchased. Bujold is hoping to make a significant impact with its local business partners and charities.
Thanks to social media and friends and family, finding new businesses and products to include wasn’t a challenge for Bujold.
“Social media has been quite amazing, but so has checking out local markets. There’s so many options. The hardest part is trying to narrow down who goes in what box and hopefully impact as many of these vendors as we can,” she said.
Visit https://wwcommunityhaul.ca/ to learn more about the boxes and how to subscribe.