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Community Tadbitz: My Community Lunch Box story

I have always had a vivid imagination, I can still remember as a child reading exciting, vast, sweeping tales of adventure that captured my young mind and made me wonder what stories myself could tell.

Joseph Quigley | Whitecourt Star

This affinity never went away growing up, after graduating from high school I took a young children's literacy course aimed at getting written pieces published. The first newspaper article I wrote locally was in 2013, it was an advertorial promoting my piano teaching and general awareness on Asperger’s Syndrome.

Throughout this time I was actively volunteering in our community, being a mentor and mentoring at an adult literacy program that later lead to actual employment as a secretary, in addition to my mentoring/ teaching responsibilities. I'd say it taught me to be humble and opened my eyes to the sobering fact that though many people struggle, they are still determined to better themselves.

My first formal introduction to the Community Lunch Box Program began with Tara Baker doing a presentation at a WSEC meeting. She proposed a partnership between our inclusive community minded organizations to which the Whitecourt Social Experience Club was enthusiastically receptive too. So began the Community Lunch Box Bottle Drop off program, and a place of part time employment for adults with barriers.

I began my CLB journey near the end of 2015, as a staff writer for this diversified community initiative where I wrote article pieces highlighting the many incredible volunteers that make this multifaceted program as successful as it is today. I further took on a pivotal, behind the scenes role as the Lunch Box Society Secretary; I’ve taken my previous experiences from being president for the WSEC and have applied them which has certainly been of great benefit in learning the many intricacies that make up the Program.

I full-heartedly believe Whitecourt is especially lucky to have such a program in the community. It has smashed the stigmas of asking for help, belayed the stigma of employing persons with barriers and actively champions inclusive community involvement.

It is my hope and intention to continue writing and doing what brings me joy. If music is what feelings sound like, then the written word immortalizes them.

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