How a Sask.social media shopping guide is giving back to first responders

(Courtesy Michelle Cates)

When Michelle Cates created a local shopping guide on Facebook, she never thought it would grow to become what it is today.

“I really intended it to be sharing some Christmas ideas of where to shop local with some friends and maybe some of their friends so I made it public. Never thinking that it would be to this day like 20 thousand people but clearly people were wanting to support shopping local,” said Michelle cates.

The Local Love Saskatchewan Shopping Guide page now has nearly 20,000 followers and Cates is using that platform to give back to first responders.

“After working so hard to take care of everyone and being so short-staffed, I thought surely we could do something positive for them,” said cates

It did not take long for local businesses to hop on board. City Perks café and its sister business Sparrow Café stepped forward with five-dollar coffee vouchers that people could purchase and soon after Those Girls From the Market came forward with the option to purchase chocolate bars for first responders at the same price.

“As a local business, this is not only what I do to make a living it is also our means to impact our community as well. My sister and I always try to find ways where we can have a positive impact on Saskatoon, and this opportunity was the perfect fit,” said Julianna tan, co-owner of Those Girls From the Market.

Along with the option to treat a first responder, Cates began to create colourful hearts with messages of gratitude that will be posted on the walls of the hospitals for them to see.

“I have received from private messages from a few nurses that are in the group and they are actually really looking forward to seeing some of these messages from our community. It’s been really tough, they’ve expressed that it’s been a very tough time so, if we can just do a little thing to boost their spirits right now, I think that would be great,” said Cates.

Cates said the fundraiser is going well so far but hopes to have more people from the community get involved. She is hoping to have something for every first responder that can be divided between all four hospitals.

Cates said the community does not need to worry about dropping off vouchers or bars bought, that she will travel to each location to pick them up.

For anyone interested in creating a heart for a first responder, they can be dropped off at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital off-site location at 345-3rd avenue south. They are open from between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday and Friday.