Barbara Poole – Remembering a Great Humanitarian

With the passing of Barbara Poole, the staff and community members at Bissell Centre would like to thank one of Edmonton’s most inspiring philanthropists.  Barbara was instrumental in making Edmonton a better community – whether through supporting the arts, educational institutions or human services agencies such as Bissell Centre.
Along with her late husband John, the Pooles have contributed millions of dollars, often anonymously, to countess causes in our area.  Their legacy is testament to the value of social responsibility, supporting communities where wealth is earned.

Thank you Barbara for setting such a high example and improving the lives of so many.

Bill – a staple in Bissell Centre for 20 years!

Q & A with Bill – Our Donations Pick-up Driver

How many years have you been with Bissell?
I’ve been with Bissell for 20 years. I’ve been working as the pick-up driver for about 10 years.

At 84 years old, most people your age are retired and yet, you are working full-time. Can you tell me why?
I enjoy working. It keeps me physically and mentally fit. Plus, I love the staff and clients that I work with at Bissell. I enjoy meeting new people.  I talk to about 100 different people a day!

What exactly do you do for Bissell Centre?
My job is to drive around town picking up food for the clients. I go to places like Alberta Health Services, Starbucks, the Italian Centre, Walmart, Funky Pickle, Shaw Conference Centre and Cobbs Bakery to collect their food donations and bring it back to Bissell. There is food to be picked up on a daily basis.

How much food do you pick up on a daily basis?
It varies. It can be as much as 600-700 pounds of food, like when I pick up at Capital Health. As astounding as that number may sound, it is not that much food. The food gets used up quickly, since we feed about 150 people daily.

Wow! That’s a lot of heavy lifting! Do you work with a team?
Nope. It’s just me. I do all of the heavy lifting. I don’t mind. I have always enjoyed working with my hands. I don’t have any back problems or anything –just asthma. But it’s manageable with my inhaler.

When is it the busiest time of the year for pick-ups?
I’m usually pretty busy all year round, but I would have to say from mid-November to about mid-January, we get a lot of pick-ups because of all the holiday parties.

In terms of donations, what is the one thing Bissell is always in need of?
Coffee!!! We need more coffee donations. We go through coffee so fast here! We can’t keep up. We are always running low on coffee.

  – Interview by Karen Lee, Guest Blogger

If you wish to make a food or other in-kind donation, please contact Barb, In-kind Donations Coordinator, at bnickel@bissellcentre.org or 780-423-2285 ext. 159.

Bissell Centre History

Bissell Centre History