A long-time Niagara College contractor has come forward to kickstart the College’s inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign.
#GivingTuesday, known as the “Opening day of the giving season,” is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday.
St. Catharines-based janitorial company Commercial Cleaning Services has contributed a lead gift of $5,000 to kickstart NC’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which will run from December 1 to 18 in support of our Nourishing Minds Fund.
The Nourishing Minds program, offered by the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC), provides emergency electronic grocery cards in $25 or $50 denominations to students struggling with food security.
Commercial Cleaning Services, which provides high-quality janitorial programs to clients in the public and private sector since 1953, has a multi-faceted relationship with NC. In addition to being NC’s cleaning services contractor, Commercial Cleaning Services is a generous donor to the College, having donated in support of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, scholarships and bursaries, the Seafood Gala, Golf Classic, and most recently, the Dan Patterson Legacy Campaign.
Perhaps what makes this company’s support even more meaningful is that its president, Chris Draayer, is an NC alumnus. After graduating from NC’s Construction Engineering program in 1994, Draayer worked in the industry for a short time before joining his father-in-law’s janitorial business.
To the benefit of NC’s students, Draayer’s connection to his alma mater continues. The company’s most recent donation of $5,000 provides a welcome boost to the College’s Giving Tuesday campaign which launches on December 1 in support of Nourishing Minds.
“Commercial Cleaning is very happy to participate in the kick-off of the inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign in support of the Nourishing Minds program. On behalf of myself and several other members of our team at Commercial Cleaning who are Niagara College alumni, we welcomed this opportunity to directly assist students through this great program and help them to focus and have a successful school year during the stressful times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Draayer.
Draayer’s decision to support Nourishing Minds through the College’s Giving Tuesday campaign was swift after hearing how the emergency grocery card program’s resources remain critically low after a spike in demand in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between March and September 2020, NCSAC distributed nearly 2,800 electronic grocery cards in $50 denominations through the Nourishing Minds program to students experiencing food insecurity. That is ten times the number of grocery cards distributed in a typical year.
Support from Niagara College, the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, and community donors generated essential funding to support students over the summer months. Now, the Development and Alumni Relations team is harnessing the giving power of #GivingTuesday to ensure students experiencing food insecurity continue to have access to the emergency grocery card program.
Donations to NC’s Giving Tuesday campaign are being accepted through our dedicated crowdfunding page Nourish a Mind. Feed a Future, beginning December 1.
Submitted by Development and Alumni Relations