Representatives from The Mustard Seed Red Deer and Caliber Body and Paint gather for a photo in front of the charity organization’s van, after the local shop donated labour and provided materials to fix it up.

Wheels with Heart: Refurbished van donation resonates with The Mustard Seed

Here’s 3 other ways you can help this important Red Deer charity

For an organization dedicated to helping vulnerable people in Red Deer get enough to eat, find housing, make their way to appointments and more, reliable transportation is critical.

The staff and volunteers at The Mustard Seed were therefore thrilled and grateful when Carey MacDonald at Caliber Paint and Body agreed to volunteer their labour and donate materials to transform a used van into a valuable resource for the local charity.

“This is a good cause,” says MacDonald, whose staff shared the workload on the van project. “They have some good programs like the school lunches, and really, who don’t they help in the community? They help everybody, whoever needs it. And if they can’t do it they’ll find someone who can.”

Heartfelt gift put to good use

Its body straightened out, freshly painted and emblazoned with The Mustard Seed logos, the van has become a rolling reminder of the community work being done by the non-profit agency.

The refurbished vehicle plays a huge role in The Mustard Seed’s operations, being used to pick up or drop off guests and deliver some of the more than 50,000 lunches provided annually to schools in the public and Catholic school districts. It will also be pressed into service delivering Thanksgiving turkeys.

“Sometimes it’s easy to give what you have left over and buy something new for yourself. But this was an example of a way that they could give us something like new,” says Laura Unruh, community development co-ordinator for The Mustard Seed. “It speaks volumes about their values and priorities and how they’re willing to spend their money and time.”

More ways to help those in poverty in Red Deer:

  • Donations from the community help maintain the van and keep it fuelled up. This newest member of the fleet is just one of the gifts to be acknowledged on Oct. 20, when the organization hosts The Seeds of Hope gala at the Sheraton Red Deer Hotel. “We will be putting a face on poverty and homelessness,” says The Mustard Seed fund development manager Scott Tilbury. Attendees will not only find portraits of some of Red Deer’s most vulnerable people, “it’ll be an evening of stories and removing barriers, with people in the community sharing their family’s stories.”
  • Adults are invited to spend time sharing a meal with guests at The Mustard Seed, or volunteer in other ways. Send an email to to indicate your interest.
  • Donations of various kinds are welcomed (in order of priority): sliced ham and turkey; beef; chicken; nut free snacks for the school lunch program; sliced cheese; fresh whole fruit; crackers; bottled water; ground beef; cooking oil; fresh carrots, potatoes, onions and celery

Donations can be dropped off at The Mustard Seed’s location in Red Deer.


With staff at Caliber Body and Paint doing the work to refurbish The Mustard Seed’s van, it gives the charity organization a valuable resource with which to provide services to some of Red Deer’s most vulnerable citizens.

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