Stephen ‘Dusty’ Roberts operates the Victoria-based Luv-A-Rug cleaning business.
Over the years, he’s come up with many creative promotions for his customers, but his most recent offer hits close to home.
“So they pay for the first one, and the second one — they just make a donation that goes to our ‘Luv a Senior’ fund,” explains Roberts.
Those funds are then used to purchase bird feeders for seniors in care homes to enjoy.
“Really, this is in honor of my dear father Gordon Marshall Roberts,” said Roberts.
Gordon Marshall Roberts died on Jan. 5, 2021. He was 90.
Dusty says his late father’s bird feeder brought him great joy while in isolation at the Broadmead Care Society.
“He’d tell me about the birds and all the types of birds that came and I got to thinking, maybe other seniors would love this too,” says Roberts.
Roberts told his dad about his bird feeder fundraiser promotion plan before he died, and he loved it. With his father’s endorsement, he spread the word to his customers and reached out to local media.
It wasn’t long until donations came pouring in.
Earlier today, a benevolent birdhouse builder from Oak Bay offered two of his custom-build creations to the cause.
“Knowing what the seniors do and how they’re isolated these days, it’s a great opportunity for them to have some enjoyment as well,” said Dr. Ken Buchanan, a retired physician who builds birdhouses with his 10-year-old grandson.
“I think we all have something to give back, and this is just one small way of doing that.”
A short time after Roberts picked up the birdhouses, the charitable chain reaction continued with a hummingbird feeder delivered by Victoria resident Bonnie Burton.
“I just thought it was such a great story that he was able to share with everybody and give some joy to those people that can’t see their loved ones,” said Burton. “Maybe . . . the birds can bring them some joy.”
Roberts says he’s humbled with the response, yet not surprised, as he understands many people are going through a similar situation with loved ones kept at a distance due to COVID-19.
“People are actually donating money to the fund and not having their rugs washed,” said Roberts. “I have customers calling me going ‘Dusty, I don’t have any rugs to clean but I’m going to give you a donation anyhow’ so it’s really worthwhile for us. It makes me feel really good.”
Roberts said he’s aware of the recent Salmonella issue linked to bird feeders and says he developed a cleaning plan with local care homes.
To donate to Roberts’ bird feeder fundraiser, click here.