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Mr. and Mrs. LOVEPIZZA, aka, Gavin and Braede, are the owners and operators of the local LOVEPIZZA chain of pizzerias. They have been valued supporters of Terra for many years and they recently had a special experience when delivering donated diapers to Terra Centre after a successful Diaper Drive. They noticed their young son Branson, taking a keen interest in the act of giving. We sat down with Braede to try and get to know a little more about this incredible young man and how he has come to have such a giving spirit.
Braede told us a little more about Branson.
“Branson loves building LEGO, any sport and he LOVES food. He is always interested in any thing in the kitchen – at home he likes to be a part of making dinner and setting the table. In our LOVEPIZZA kitchen – he enjoys using our dishwasher, folding boxes and testing/making our new feature pizzas.”
Q: When did you start to notice Branson’s understanding of charitable giving?
A: I noticed it when he was very young and it was through his questions.
He was 5 months old when we opened the first pizza shop, so he and our business have grown together. He has also been curious about what we do and why we do what we do, he is constantly full of questions and we’ve always tried to answer every question as best (and honestly) as we can. He has always been an empathetic little boy, something that his daycare has always communicated with us. He loves people, a lot.
I have always found it important to expose him to many different places, people and causes. He was with me for most of our support pizza drop offs to hospitals, long term care facilities, charities, fire halls, police stations in 2020. Each of those drop offs we had conversations about what those groups do and how they help people.
He has been to the Bissell Centre to visit and drop off things which leads to many questions about homelessness. Difficult but important discussions.
He loves to donate his bikes and toys to the Terra Centre because he knows another little kid will enjoy them as much as he did.
Our first diaper drive was when he was still in diapers, he loves looking at photos of the diaper pile and him stacking the diaper boxes.
Every event or simple act of dropping a donation off has always been accompanied with a discussion, that creates a connect with him for our family, our business and our community.
It’s important for your kids to SEE you actively thinking of ours. That creates a memory for them and something that they can question and think back to.
Q: What was it like delivering 246 boxes of diapers with Branson?
A: This year he was adamant on coming for our drop off day at Braemar School, most years he comes to purchase boxes with us from money we have collected online. But this year he wanted to come load up the delivery van.
He was so proud, so confident and so excited. From the minute we pulled up to the back door, he met Paul and got right to work loading up the carts. I could tell he had a huge smile on his face under his mask.
He loaded up a little push cart and rolled about 6 loads into the Clothes Closet, so carefully. He chatted with the Terra team while he did it and took so much pride in his work.
The diaper drive is a very special time of year for us, we love seeing our customers get behind such a great cause and it was really wonderful to see him so excited about dropping it off too.
Q: If you were to ask Branson, why it’s important to give to others, what would he say?
A: He has always enjoyed passing down his toys and bikes to the Terra Centre so that other kids can “share and play with the toys” and says he “wants kids that don’t have many things to have fun with them like he did.”
Q: What would Branson say to other kids who don’t know about donating or volunteering?
A: He says: “it was fun to help bring the diapers into the Terra Centre. I was surprised and proud of how many diapers there were in Vanny (our delivery van). It made me happy to help fill up the pile in the Clothes Closet. It’s a good idea to donate things like bikes because other kids can use it, and then pass it on to another kid after they’re done using it and that kid can pass it on to another kid and then they would all be happy.” He also said he loves seeing the art at the walls of Braemar School.
Since the Diaper Drive, Branson has been actively participating in other donation drives like the Bissel Centre’s, “Drop Your Gonch,” campaign to collect underwear for those in need. He has also been enjoying summer activities like canoeing and hanging out with his dog.
We were delighted by Branson’s story and his dedication to his community. We are grateful to include Branson, Braede, Gavin, and LOVEPIZZA in our community of support who help us meet the needs of teen parents, and their children.
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