Union Street Grill & Grotto has been serving up lunch and dinner in downtown Courtenay for more than 19 years. Lately, however, they’ve been serving up something else as well: a generous helping of goodwill.
While the traditional season of giving has come and gone, Union Street continues to give back, having most recently collected more than 1,000 stuffed toys for Syrian refugee children arriving in British Columbia. In all, the restaurant amassed five large boxes overflowing with stuffed animals, as well as hats, mitts and scarves for Syrian refugees.
Currently, Union Street staff are busy creating gift cards for the 26th annual Y.A.N.A Big Love Event later this month (historically known as the Y.A.N.A. Dinner and Auction).
“We love our community and like to help out as much as we can,” says Fannie Blanchet, one of the managers of Union Street Grill & Grotto. “Charitable giving tends to dry up a bit at this time of year, so we want to do our part to make sure all those great organizations have the support they need to do their great work in the Comox Valley.
“We have lots of community spirit and like to spread the love to local charities, organizations and community events.”
Giving back is nothing new to Union Street, one of downtown Courtenay’s oldest eateries. Every month, the restaurant donates 16 litres of soup to a local soup kitchen and all of its recyclables to CANDO, which serves Comox Valley adults living with disabilities.
Union Street Grill also participates in Dining out for Life each spring, donating 25 per cent of its sales to AIDS Vancouver Island along with additional donations collected from diners and staff.
“It absolutely warms my heart to help others,” says Blanchet. “Continuously contributing to the lives of our neighbours keeps us connected to our community. No matter what we do or how we do it, it’s always worth it.”
Union Street staff are currently organizing a charity day for 2016, on which a percentage of sales will be donated within the community.
The restaurant’s Facebook page will be kept updated with information on this initiative.