This year, Breakfast Club of Canada and Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros are celebrating a very special anniversary: 15 years of working tirelessly and passionately for children.
On October 13, a cheque and some certificates of appreciation were offered at the Bureau en gros store in St-Bruno for the donation of the last Back To School campaign and to recognize the 15 years of partnership with the Club.
This support is absolutely essential, knowing that there are still hundreds of schools on BCC’s waiting list — a list that shows no signs of getting shorter any time soon.
During every back-to-school campaign, the associates at Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros have shown extraordinary motivation and determination to help raise funds for BCC. “At Staples, we believe that the back-to-school season should be a time of excitement and wonder. However, we know that this is not the case for all parents, teachers, and students as they struggle to provide children with the resources to help support a successful school year,” said Wanda Walkden, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, Staples Canada. “As Canada’s Back to School Destination, the School Supply Drive, which just wrapped up another successful fundraising campaign, allowed our stores to team up with charitable partners, like Breakfast Club of Canada, helping make a sizable, tangible impact in the Quebec and Atlantic Canada markets supporting communities where we live and work, empowering learning and growth for the year ahead.”
To shine the spotlight on this amazing spirit of commitment, we talked to Martin Dubeau, an associate and an enthusiastic supporter of the work BCC does.
Tell us a little more about yourself and your career path.
I’ve actually been working at Bureau en Gros for 23 years. I started out part-time when I was a student at Université de Montréal. I really liked the retail world, the people I was working with and the customers I was serving, so I decided to make this my career. I still enjoy everything about it, and I feel very lucky to work for such a wonderful organization.
Can you describe how you’ve contributed to this year’s back-to-school campaign?
In August, I reached out to the Frontalière running club and my fellow staff members, challenging them to walk or run in support of Breakfast Club of Canada. I myself pledged to go up and down Mount Pinacle 12 times in as many hours, and I invited other people to do the same, only at their own pace. It was all in the name of fun and charity!
Where did the idea come from? How did your co-workers react?
People like a challenge. The idea of walking or running to help Breakfast Club of Canada is a winning one right off the bat. I’m already an ultramarathoner, so I thought maybe getting other people to join me in my crazy antics would be a good way to drum up as much support as possible for a great cause. My team is truly amazing, and they jumped in with both feet. My son was even there for the entire event to greet participants.
What does this challenge mean to you on a personal level?
It was a great way for me to prepare for the UTMB 100 km mountain race, a unique trail-running event that goes through three countries (Italy, Switzerland and France). Incidentally, I ended up crossing the UTMB finish line in 26 hours and 4 minutes!
What does Breakfast Club of Canada’s mission mean to you?
It’s something I care a lot about for two reasons:
- It’s completely unfathomable to me that, in this day and age, there are still children who don’t have the basics — a wholesome breakfast — to start their morning. We’re always talking about investing in our future, for our children. So it’s an ABSOLUTE MUST they all have what it takes to get their day off on the right foot.
- As someone who runs ultramarathons, I know how important a nutritious breakfast is. I haven’t always been so disciplined, and I didn’t used to think breakfast was such a big deal. But I’ve had to make some choices for my health, and that’s when it really hit me how much of a difference a good breakfast can make and the impact it can have on your physical and mental well-being.
What other initiatives did your team get involved in during the Back-to-School campaign?
We had “bake sale Thursdays,” where someone would bring in a dessert and sell it to the other associates (like $2 for a homemade muffin). It was a delicious way to raise funds!
Our gratitude goes out to Martin Dubeau, Bureau en Gros/Staples Canada and all the participating associates for their hard work in support of Breakfast Club of Canada for the past 15 years.
Read more about our partners here!