Kitchen Angels - Activators Driven to Make a Difference!
by Shannon Yelland

Shannon Yelland, August 24, 2010

Kicthen AngelLast week, the sales & marketing team took some time away from the office to participate in a program called Kitchen Angels. Run by a unique company called Inspire Canada, we spent the day in a kitchen challenge (complete with a time and budget limitation!) to prepare meals for homeless people in Vancouver. It was a great opportunity to collaborate as a team, challenge ourselves, have fun, and make a difference in our community!

We loved the program so much, that we wanted to share the experience with you! Here are some of the highlights of the day:

The challenge:
Four hours to cook and feed 175 needy people in Vancouver, to the satisfaction of an executive chef, under budget restrictions.

The results:
Fantastic! The team really came together to highlight their strengths, and the community members who benefited were very, very thankful. One man saw one of our team members walking to work the next day, and high-fived her for a great meal the night before!

Activators who participated:

  • Angie Hirata, Director, Sales & Marketing
  • Kendra Penrose, Marketing Communications Manager
  • Sheila Rebellato, Marketing Campaign Manager
  • Shannon Yelland, Online Marketing Manager
  • Michael Simon, Customer Service/Sales Representative
  • Ron Buckley, Account Executive
  • Michelle Gagnon, Account Executive

Kitchen Angels

The menu:
We combined our creative juices to create the menu below. Thank goodness for those on the team that are kitchen whizzes, who made up for those of us that are more challenged in the culinary department!

  • Ginger Soy Pork Tenderloin
  • Orange Chicken Thighs and Rabbit
  • Roasted Vegetables with Garlic
  • Couscous with Cucumbers & Tomatoes
  • Chocolate Dipped Fruit
  • Bread Pudding with Raisins & Coconut, served with a decadent caramel sauce

“Being a kitchen angel for one day was an awesome team building event and very humbling--definitely an eye opener for me. I felt very honored to help feed that many people and to connect with other Activators at the same time.”
- Shannon Yelland

“As a new member of the team, Kitchen Angels really gave me the opportunity to get to know my
teammates and help out the community in my city. It helped me to learn what is being done to help the less fortunate is our city”
- Michelle Gagnon

“This was a truly rewarding experience! I loved getting to work toward a completely unique goal with my coworkers, and give back to the community at the same time. I feel closer to my teammates now, and want to thank Inspire Canada for a top-notch afternoon.”
- Sheila Rebellato

“Totally eye opening in many ways. This challenge was so different from what we usually focus on as a team in the workplace, but that let us come together as a team in a different way. Each one of us had to take a mental inventory of our skills, find where we could contribute and then give our best in that area.”
- Michael Simon

“If it wasn’t for Michael taking the initiative with the dish washing midway through, I am sure we would not have completed on time. He knew it had to be done, even if it was not a glorifying task!”
- Shannon Yelland

The final outcome and key takeaways:

  • The team delivered on time with 30 minutes to spare
  • Enough food was made for many people to come back for seconds (or thirds, or pack lunches for their jobs the next day!)
  • The team was thanked many times by the attendees for the great tasting food
  • We realized that we are a strong team and the process brought us closer together
  • The team now wants to do more bonding experiences together in future
  • Some team members really shined through and showed project management skills that were not as obvious day-to-day in the office

Inspire Canada is an great way for Vancouver organizations to give back to the community as well as participate in great team building experiences. Why not join companies like ActiveState, ACL , and SAP who have participated and contact Inspire Canada today?

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Shannon Yelland is our online marketing manager. She's a web analytics enthusiast, SEO specialist, search engine marketing and social media geek. She is Google Adwords Certified and currently taking the UBC Business Intelligence Certificate. In her free time she shares her expertise on and Twitter.