CHEK Upside: Sooke woman cooks over 1,000 meals for community’s most vulnerable

CHEK Upside: Sooke woman cooks over 1,000 meals for community's most vulnerable
WatchAfter suffering unimaginable loss, Brooke Ervin has found strength, joy and healing in helping others.

By day, Brooke Ervin delivers and inflates what children view as a backyard paradise. Her “Just Bounce Inflatables”  business would normally have kids all over the Capital Region bouncing up and down on her inflatable castles. However, due to COVID-19, orders are down.

“We are just doing by donation at this time,” Ervin told CHEK News.

Her “pay what you can” model is a way to generate any sort of income while also accommodating the many people whose lives have been altered due to the ongoing pandemic. But for Ervin, her main concern isn’t profits.

“I cook food for anybody in need,” Ervin said.

With donations from her day job and contributions from her community in Sooke, Ervin has cooked hundreds of meals for some of the south Island’s most vulnerable people.

“I try to reach out to the elderly, anybody immune-compromised, isolated, anyone financially struggling during this pandemic,” said Ervin.

In the past month, her dishes include broccoli casserole, lasagna and this past Easter weekend, over 300 servings of turkey dinner with all the fixings.

People like Marion Williams, a senior on disability due to MS, greatly appreciate the charitable service.

“So I sent her a private message and I felt really embarrassed doing it because you don’t like to ask people for free stuff and she was an angel. She never made me feel bad or anything she said of course,” Williams said.

Irvin’s inspiration to help her community stems from her late daughter Hannah.

“When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer at almost birth, the community rallied for us. They showed what a community can do for one another. They did everything for [us]. Food and money and financially for housing, I mean we would have nothing without them,” said Ervin.

Hannah Day died on Mother’s Day of 2019. The community was by Ervin and Hannah’s side through the darkest of times. Since then, Ervin has found her greatest form of therapy, and a new cause, in the kitchen.

“The only way I could get through it and help me cope was to cook. I love to eat and I love to cook,” said Ervin. “When she passed away, I knew that my goal would be to forever give back.”

Ervin estimates she’s made over 1,200 meals to date, a personal recipe in rediscovering her own strength and joy while also taking care of others.

“My goal in this is no one goes to bed hungry. I would love to continue as long as I can, even after this pandemic if there’s still a need,” Ervin said.

For anyone in need of a meal or if someone is looking to donate or volunteer, please email Brooke Ervin at [email protected].




Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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