Owners of the Mucho Burrito in The Quarry handed a donation to Helping Hands Cochrane after raising money through a special fundraising initiative throughout the spring and summer.
Pratik and Anjani Patel, franchisees of the Mucho Burrito in town, ran a program with the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane to raise money, awareness, and ultimately give back to the community.
Through April and May, for every individual who purchased a small burrito, they would set aside $1 from each sale to donate to Helping Hands. After selling 455 burritos, the Patels raised $455 for Helping Hands.
“Anjani (my wife) and I had the idea back in March,” Patel said. “We were just coming out of the COVID wave in January and we were thinking of how we can be helpful to the community and ways that we can help out from our side.
“So, we looked at all the charities in Cochrane and Helping Hands really connected to us personally.”
Patel said as a great organization and a link between people who want to help with the people who need it, Helping Hands was a perfect fit for their initiative.
“We reached out to the previous executive director and it was well received,” he said. “We came up with a plan together on how to raise awareness and be helpful in the community itself.”
The new executive director of the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane, Laura McDonald, said the money will go toward upcoming volunteer appreciation strategy they are working on.
“We run 10 programs across Cochrane that do everything from supporting people in a move who don’t have the friends or family who would typically help them relocate,” McDonald said. “We do volunteer drives in-and-out of Cochrane, Calgary, and the surrounding area to essential appointments.
“So, we rely very heavily on our volunteers. Our volunteers run a free food shed, which [is] stocked every single day here in Cochrane for people who lack in food security.”
With the money from the Patels and Mucho Burrito, Helping Hands intends to give back the love to volunteers, make sure they feel appreciated, and continue providing for the community.
McDonald is grateful of the work by the Patels and remarks that she hopes locals continue to support area businesses in Cochrane.
“They are really the backbone of Cochrane and it’s owners like Pratik and Anjani who take initiatives like this to give back, that they really give Cochrane that special quality that we all love so much,” she said.
Patel says he and his wife have been in Cochrane for a long time. He feels that although there are often misconceptions in the community about local businesses, as a franchise owner, he is grateful for the support from customers that allowed him to thrive through the pandemic and start giving back.
“For Anjani and I, we’re moved by a quote by the Dalai Lama - ‘Compassion wins the world,’” he said. “We aren’t trying to win the world, but compassion is what drives us.”
If any interested businesses or individuals would like to give back to the community, McDonald invites them to contact her to discuss and create collaborative ways to bring more services to Cochrane through Helping Hands.
“My door is always open, my phone is ready,” she affirmed. “Please, any other small business, reach out to Helping Hands.”