Hello fellow Hamilton philanthropists and real estate investors!!
I don’t know how we pulled off the Hamilton Basket Brigade, Christmas Edition, but we did thanks to all those who donated, volunteered or both. The plan was to provide 20% more Christmas dinners than we ever have and to fundraise 20% more than we ever have, and we did. On the day of, the weather wasn’t on our side causing traffic delays and several volunteers to cancel, but we managed. We did as we always do, we took it upon ourselves to make things happen and we couldn’t have done it without all the support of our volunteers and donors.
The day was a blast! Even with the weather we had numerous volunteers show up 30 minutes early. Roger Auger of Augerproperties.ca and team driving a U-Haul, donated by AugerProperties.ca picked up volume discounted groceries from Fresco. Fresco Store Manager, Bill, and Fresco staff loaded the truck in only 30 minutes. Roger drove the truck to our base of operations, the donated space at St. Mary’s Church where volunteers unpacked the truck and split the groceries into 238 Christmas dinner care packages.
The vast majority of the groceries were sourced from Fresco but board
member and Chief Operations Officer, Maria Marcuzzi, shopped around for greater discounted prices on rolls (thank you Weston Bakery) and chocolates.
For the day’s events, I hired and covered the costs for a videographer Jeremy Curry of www.realbold.media and crew to document the experience, interview volunteers, and our customers. There is around 24 hours of video to be edited down to 5 and 10 minute versions, so we expect the video to be available in a few weeks. For fun, the volunteers took a few minutes out to attempt the mannequin challenge, here’s our video:
(For music licensing reasons, the video will only play on the desktop version and NOT your mobile devices):
Once packing was complete, volunteers packed trunks and back seats with Christmas care packages, the hall was cleared and cleaned, special thank you to Rob Cardillo and Tammy Ditomaso.
My deliveries were with Mycke Beatus, Maria, Jeremy, my cousin Christoper, wife Cherry, mom Helen and kids. I always bring my kids because I want to teach them about charity and my daughter who only just turned three, loves it. Because we are filming the experience, Mycke is wired with a GoPro body camera, I’m wired with a wireless lapel microphone while Jeremy hid in the bushes with his professional camera at each house. Once the recipients of the baskets agreed to be on Camera, Jeremy would come out of hiding. 🙂
We delivered to one gentleman who just moved into his one-bedroom apartment, his belongings spread out on the floors as he was in the middle of unpacking and recently divorced with three daughters. This was only a week away from Christmas. He was surprised and grateful, he explained how he was preparing himself for his worst Christmas ever considering his marital breakdown and how our gesture lifted his spirits.
On the next delivery, a family with four young children greeted us, the eldest maybe eight years old, the youngest already independently walking at 12 months, they too were surprised, grateful and almost coming to tears.
Our final delivery was to a three generation Filipino family in one house. The grandma explained to us after inviting us in how normally she would not answer the door to random strangers but had a good feeling about us. She explained how perfect the timing was as normally she has to work at the assisted living facility during the holidays as many of their residents do not have any other family to visit with them. This was the first year in ages she was home for the holidays to entertain family and described our gesture as “a gift from god.”
By the time we were done delivering around 3pm, I bought a late lunch for those who stuck around for the on camera interviews at the Burnt Tongue (my soup and burger were excellent).
It was a terrific day and don’t worry if you missed it, we do it all again at the same time, same place, for Easter, Saturday April 15th, 8:30am, Address: 146 Park St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 3K9. For privacy reasons, details will only be made via email, so make sure you are registered at www.HamiltonBasketBrigade.com.
Thank you to our volunteers, as always, we really needed you more than ever to execute on the biggest brigade we’ve ever done. The biggest in all of Canada as far as I know of and the only brigade to operate for both Easter and Christmas.
Thank you donors, especially our platinum donors generously giving $1,000 and up: Scott Dillingham of CIBC, the Mercer’s, Matt Green of http://www.tymat.com/, Roger Auger, James Maggs, RTG Systems, Cherry Chan, CPA, CA and I, MrHamilton.ca. These same people donated $1,000 or more for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you to the Hamilton Mountain Rotary Club and Carol Dias.
Thank you to Nick Ditomaso and VTech for donating so many toys.
Thank you to our Board of Directors for everything mentioned above, your fundraising, and your leadership.
Thank you to our Treasurer, Cherry Chan CPA, CA for donating your corporate accounting services, incorporation and lawyer fees so we may be a registered charity.
Thank you Joe Nunes for lending us the audio equipment.
Thank you Nancy, Liz and the HWDSB for supporting us and organizing our customer and driver lists.
Thank you Bill of Fresco, A Sobey’s company for the volume discounts and staff help.
Thank you Roger Auger of AugerProperties.ca for leading the 2nd crew of delivery drivers.
Thank you Maria Marcuzzi for being the back bone of our organization.
Thank you all for your part in winning Christmas!!
Thank you to everyone who supports the small businesses who make this charity possible. If you want to help us grow this charity to bring more positive change to the community then please support us.
GOOOOAAAAALSSS for 2017
One of my favourite authors, Brian Tracy, said “There are goals and all else is commentary.” I’m a huge fun of Brian Tracy. His book, Maximum Achievement, meant a lot to me. However, goals for me are part of an equation that starts with values which lead you to goals. Once you have goals, you design the quarterly, monthly, weekly goals and repetitive tasks to achieve your annual goals.
We are kicking off 2017 with Mr. Hamilton’s Inner Circle meeting on Jan 28th. You can register here to reserve your seat and receive the full details of the event: http://mrhamilton.ca/innercircle/
For those of you who know me and have followed me for a while, you know I’m no one special. However, through persistence and working hard and smart, have produced for myself and my family some serious results while having a ton of fun and making a difference along the way. On January 28th I’ll show all those attending my planning process for 2017, the same process I’ve implemented and refined for award winning results for myself and team.
I hope to see you there!!
Erwin Szeto | MrHamilton.ca
Sales Representative, Owner of Hamilton Real Estate Investment Property
Rock Star Real Estate Inc., Brokerage
President of the Basket Brigade Charity
Podcast Host/Producer of the Truth About Real Estate Investing for Canadians
REIN’s Top Player Award 2013, Silver Award.