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Bell Tower Community Café

Making Good Things Together

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Making Good Things Together in 2023

When I open the doors to the Bell Tower Community Cafe on a Friday night, something special happens. 

I feel it when I see people serving and enjoying a delicious meal, shared together by everyone. 

I feel it when I hear the musicians sharing their gifts on stage, and when I see the audience singing, clapping or just closing their eyes to listen. 

I feel it when I watch two people walk together choosing food that one of them will take home. 

I see the creation of a powerful community each and every time. 

The Bell Tower provides food hampers and a community meal. But you and I know it’s so much more than a foodbank, it’s a community where people meet each other’s needs. It’s a community that knows that everyone has something to offer. It’s a group of people working for a more food secure Winnipeg, taking the first step by sharing a common meal together. 

I’m so grateful for the generous support you’ve provided to the Bell Tower. Your kindness has made the last nine years possible.  But we need your help to keep this community going in the new year. 

We need to raise $12,000 to cover the cost for another year of the Bell Tower Community Cafe. You can donate safely online here: https://fundly.com/bell-tower-2023

Donations can also be made through Canada Helps online here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/108202425RR0001-westminster-united-church/

Your gifts will make sure we can have another year of enjoying cozy bowls of soups and chilli. Another year of barbeques, sitting together on the lawn sharing a meal of hot dogs and salads. 

And another year of making sure families in our community have enough to eat. Something we all know was made even harder this year with rising prices. 

Your support has kept us going in the past, and I’m hoping we can count on you again. 

Times are tight for a lot of us this year, so I totally understand if you’re not able to make a gift right now. But if you’re able, I’d be so grateful for any amount you can give. Just click this link to make a quick and easy donation online. 

As we approach the holidays and the new year, I want you to know I’m grateful for you. Whether you come for a meal, share your music, drop off meals or donate financially, I’ll be heading into the holidays thankful for you and your place in this community.

Making Good Things Together in 2020

6 years ago, the Bell Tower Community Cafe opened its doors for the first time in Westminster Church at the corner of Maryland and Westminster. In our early days we created the mandate to “Make Good Things Together”, to serve a good cup of coffee, enjoy invigorating live music and give away food hampers from Winnipeg Harvest. We started by opening our doors to 20 families and individuals in the neighbourhood. And in those first few Bell TSix years ago, the Bell Tower Community Cafe opened its doors for the first time. We started by welcoming just 20 families and individuals in the neighbourhood. And at those first few Bell Towers we were unsure if we would even be able to serve a meal. But we were driven by our common goal: to be a place to meet people and build community. We were “Making Good Things Together.”

Since these early days, we have hosted 155 Bell Towers. That’s more than 10,000 food hampers. Over 1,500 crock pots of chilli, soup and meat balls. That’s 36 BBQs with 7,000 hot dogs and hamburgers. And that’s almost 3,000 rides home for guests with overflowing boxes of food. All of this is possible because of an amazing team of volunteers who collectively have put in over 12,000 hours volunteering! 

This is also made possible because of financial gifts from people like you. Each night the Bell Tower is open it costs $500 to provide things like coffee and tea, compostable dishes or BBQ supplies. Will you help support the Bell Tower for the next year? A gift of $25 can provide all the coffee for one evening of the Bell Tower. And a gift of $350 covers the cost of a summer BBQ night.

The Bell Tower is more than a food bank: we are a community. Every second Friday we meet to share a meal, connect with friends and meet new people. In the six years since we first opened our doors we have built a diverse community. Our strength lies in relationships. When we asked our community: “Why do you come to Bell Tower?” the number one reason was for the people. 

We come to meet new people, to feel understood, and to feel accepted.

As a community we are working to build a more food secure Winnipeg. Supporting families with food hampers from Winnipeg Harvest and creating an inclusive space to eat a free community meal are two ways we improve access to food.

In the last few years we have also been able to offer more choice at Bell Tower. We have established a low-cost mini mart, offering eggs, fresh fruit, canned protein and other healthy food items we rarely receive through Winnipeg Harvest. In the last year, the Manitoba Egg Farmers joined us as a community partner allowing us to sell eggs at a very affordable price. Eggs are flying off the table at the mini mart!

Together we are creating a more food-secure Winnipeg, but we need your help to continue opening our doors every other Friday night. Your donations help fill empty fridges, generate festive summer BBQs, help us serve a free and inviting community meal, and are an investment in an inclusive community. In order to run the next year of Bell Tower, we need to raise $10,000. Will you help us? 

To Donate to the Bell Tower Community Cafe:

  1. Make a donation online at:
    fundly.com/making-good-things-together-2020
  2. Mail cheques to:
    Bell Tower Community Cafe
    745 Westminster Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3G 1A5

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