NATIONAL PHILANTHROPY DAY

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On November 15, 2018 we received two awards (check out that sign!) for National Philanthropy Day from our friends at the Terra Centre and The Bissell Centre - our category was "Community Enrichment" . This was a perfect category for us because when we were dreaming up these pizza shops, we wanted the LOVEPIZZA community to enrich our local community.

We are forever thankful, grateful and inspired by you, our customers - for believing in us and getting involved in our crazy ideas (ie diaper drives, underwear drop offs, birthday celebrations). These sheets of paper mean so much to us because we LOVE this part of our business and we're so proud of it. Being on that stage receiving these awards was once again, a great reminder that our city is full of amazing people and initiatives.

TERRA CENTRE - THIRD ANNUAL DIAPER DRIVE

June 14-24 2018

The final count of our 3rd Annual LOVEPIZZA Gives Diaper Drive is in! We nearly doubled our total from 2017. We delivered over 200 boxes (about 23,500 individual diapers) to the Terra Centre in 5 SUVs. This diaper drive once again proves how amazing our LOVEPIZZA community is. We are so thankful for all of your support, it's overwhelming. For every box of diapers brought into our stores we gave our customers a free pizza as a thank you, that’s over 200 pizzas!

A special thank you to some of our catering customers, suppliers and community friends for getting your teams involved to help us reach our goal.

We can't wait until next year... look out we have big plans.

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OUR ST ALBERT STORE TURNS ONE!

supporting Stop Abuse in Families

May 5, 2018

We have a lot of respect for the work that SAIF does.

Abuse in families is much more common than most of us want to believe. I recently had a very emotional discussion with a customer & friend of ours that is currently going through some very challenging things, in her own home. And without going into much detail, I had a lot of respect for this woman before I knew of these struggles. And now, if it’s possible I admire her even more. She’s using SAIF to heal, to learn and to one day help others who are in a similar situation.

Around Christmas time a local teacher reached out to me about a mother and two boys from her school going through domestic abuse. They were putting on a fundraiser with silent auction items to get her some help. I reached out to our community and was so grateful for our customers and fellow small businesses for stepping up with donations. That fundraiser that this wonderful teacher organized raised enough money to get mom and the boys to a safe place.

Emotional and physical abuse knows no age, demographic, gender or race – it happens behind closed doors, in the places that one should feel the safest. It rips apart families. And it needs to stop and it needs to be talked about. SAIF has been in operation since 1989, providing counselling, violence prevention and education programs. It’s an organization that is unfortunately SO needed in our community. And if we’re able to help a little bit by making some pizzas, we’re all for that.

We celebrated our first birthday in St Albert on May 5 with Buy One, Get One Free Pizzas with $1 from each pizza we made is going directly to the programs at Stop Abuse in Families. Programs that might be helping your friends, your classmates, your neighbour or your customers. We made 489 pizzas and collected $180 of donations for our friends at SAIF . We dropped off a cheque for $700 that will go to their programs to help families going through domestic abuse. As always, we are so proud that we can make even a little difference in someone’s life, who needs it, with our LOVEPIZZA Gives initiatives.

BISSELL CENTRE - “COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR” REST STOP

February 24, 2018

The Bissell Centre’s “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraising walk was held on February 28th in the downtown core. To say they crushed their fundraising AND participant goals is an understatement. LOVEPIZZA was an official rest stop and tossed some pizzas in our ovens to provide a snack for the 313 walkers - within a span of an hour or so. I turned around at one point from our dough machine and it was like a swarm of human bees hit a hive to go to work on it ... a hive of pizza. We're so proud to have been a small part of this amazing walk. The Bissell volunteer (Donna) that was assigned to our shop to help actually used the Bissell services 26 years ago as a single mother of twin girls. Donna is living proof of the lifesaving and life changing work that the centre does in our community and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to hear her story. Because it matters. Get out and support these local groups!

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OUR SECOND BIRTHDAY

supporting The Bissell Centre

January 28 2018

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We have always said that our restaurants are our other babies. They need love, nurturing, guidance, time. They are a pain in the ass sometimes, but generally we love them unconditionally. Running a restaurant is tough -mentally, physically, emotionally – all that stuff. But it’s the best kind of “tough.” This business has been a valuable classroom over the last two years – problem solving, relationships, growth, patience, challenges and a whole lot of love. On January 28th 2018 we hosted another wild BOGO birthday in our downtown shop. Mr LOVEPIZZA is quite possibly the most calculated planner that I know - the day went off without a hitch because of that man's attention to detail, work ethic and planning. He was behind the scenes for the entire day (week actually) making sure our team had everything they needed to make 808 pizzas, for you. 808 in one day!

Our team runs like a well oiled sports car. A fast one. I was standing rolling dough all day (literally) listening to their interactions with our customers and I'm constantly so impressed by them. The dough station is my happy place, I can hear and see everything that is going on but still be tucked away. I get to know our team there, chat with customers and just be at the heart of our business. I joked with a few people that I get more excited for LOVEPIZZA's birthday, than my own. And that is 100% true. It was an amazing day. Thank you to all of you who came out. It was cold, you were resourceful. The lineup filled the lobby AND the bathroom hallway. You opened your hearts and wallets to our #lovepizzagives charity of choice, the @bissellcentre and donated $792.46 of cash (thank you – that especially makes my heart happy). That combined with our $808 we will be donating from our pizza count brings our total donation to the programs at Bissell Centre to $1600. And that my friends, is a very happy birthday in our eyes. Thank you for your love, support, encouragement, friendship over the last two years. We say it all the time, but we really truly, undeniably have the BEST customers. From our family to yours, thank you so much for the last two years

SAIF (STOP ABUSE IN FAMILIES)

the LOVESGIVING pizza

Sept 22 - Oct 7 2017

Since opening our St Albert store in April 2017 we have been learning more and more about the St Albert community and the amazing organizations that operate just a couple of minutes from our pizza shop.

I reached out to a regular customer of ours who lives in St Albert and works downtown, she and her family are very involved in the community and have been a great resource for me. She put me in touch with SAIF (Stop Abuse in Families) located right in St Albert. This is an organization that has been helping those experiencing domestic abuse since 1989 in the capital region.

We came up with a fully loaded comfort food pizza to be part of this LOVEPIZZA Gives Initiative - The Lovesgiving pizza. Topped with mashed potatoes, stuffing, pulled turkey, gravy, cranberry chutney and brie cheese drizzle - all made in house. We donated $1 from each Lovesgiving pizza we sold directly to programs at SAIF including individual counselling, group support programs, youth counselling and educational programming in our schools.

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We believe every man, woman and child should have a safe place to call home. But the reality is this isn’t the case for many. Our hope is we can make a difference in the life of at least one person or family with this fundraiser. This topic is a difficult one to think about and talk about, but it's SO important because it's happening all around us, quietly. It is a topic that has always been discussed in my family because of the work that my uncle and my aunt have spent their lives doing.

My uncle, Ron Sluser, was one of the original founding men of the White Ribbon Campaign alongside Michael Kaufman and the late Jack Layton in the early 90s, They started what is now an international movementthat encourages men and boys to pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. It is a movement that promotes gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. .He and his partner, my aunt Jan, have spent their lives working for not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions such as the YWCA and George Brown College. It is work that I have so much respect for and I am still in awe weight this profession carries on those in it (so much so that I did a project on my aunt Jan in junior high on the topic of “write about someone you admire”, true story, it’s probably in a box in my parent’s basement).

I was that little girl who asked them questions about what they did for work and why we were going to a certain “parade” or why I was wearing a t-shirt with a white ribbon on it. And they explained it, all of it. They have inspired me to help those who need someone to listen, who need a voice and who need a fresh start. Never underestimate YOUR INFLUENCE, especially if you are in a position of influence with a young mind and heart. You never who is watching you, who is listening and who you might inspire.

We ended up making 587 LOVESGIVING pizzas during the 16 days that we ran this campaign! We like to round up around here (sometimes) so we donated $1000 to the programs of SAIF. That money will go directly to individual or group support sessions to those experiencing domestic abuse

TERRA CENTRE - SECOND ANNUAL DIAPER DRIVE

June 9-18 2017

diaper drive (in both downtown and St Albert shops)

For each LOVEPIZZA Gives initiative that we do, we make sure we spend some time in and around the organization to really understand what they really do. I had the honour of touring Terra Centre, specifically their Braemar School facility in the Ottwell community. To say I (and my own mama, who I had with me) were blown away is an understatement. With 150 students (45 of which graduated with a high school diploma that Friday - yay!), all young parents or soon to be parents completing their high school educations AND their children (age 3 weeks to 3 years) being cared for and taught under the watchful eye of early childhood teachers - all under one roof. WOW.

This facility represents only a fraction of what the Terra Centre does for young parents in our community, but it's such a special place. I read and listened to stories, met 2 year olds that remind me so much of my own son and I honestly fell so in love with this place. The sense of family, love and COMMUNITY is so strong and so important to these young families.

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That statement above on the wall at Terra is so true - they DO differ, but every child deserves a childhood. This is WHY Gavin and I see so much value in helping these "not-so-well-known" organizations through our LOVEPIZZA Gives program, the work they do is so important to our community. 

And that is also why we get our son involved in our business and our LOVEPIZZA Gives program in any way that we can. He is our future and we want him to be as proud of this business as we are. We want his childhood to be filled with being a positive change in the world and a bright light in someone's day.

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Our Terra Centre diaper drive was such a success - a total of 115 boxes were collected between our two stores. An average box of diapers cost between $35 to $40 per box - so that is over $4,000 in diapers. We gave away 115 pizzas as thank yous over the span of 10 days to our amazing contributors! So THANK YOU again to our customers and our downtown Edmonton & St Albert community!

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WIN HOUSE

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June 5 2017 - food hole sponsor supporting Win House

It was a long day, but a great day. WIN House invited us out for their annual golf tournament to serve some pizzas. We were so happy we could be a small part of this big annual fundraising event for this amazing organization. We met so many fabulous women who are so passionate about this cause and have been supporting WIN for decades. These shelters are a safe place for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can't imagine the resources that are needed to operate them.