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Lotus Terminals donates socks and cash to Cloverdale Community Kitchen

Local business believes it’s important to support local charities
Staff and management from Lotus Terminals donated more than 500 pairs of socks and $1,250 to the Cloverdale Community Kitchen Dec. 12. From left: Loretta West, Bob Meredith dressed as Santa, Jolanta Kasinska, and Lotus Terminals founder Saran Bal. (Photo: submitted)

Lotus Terminals gifted socks and cash to the Cloverdale Community Kitchen this week.

The local business, on 52nd Avenue, has been donating to the Community Kitchen every Christmas for several years now.

The staff and management gave 516 pairs of socks and $1,250 in cash on behalf of the entire Lotus Terminals team to help the Kitchen help the homeless.

Prab Bal, CEO of Lotus Terminals, said it’s important for local businesses to support local charities.

“It’s very nice, the good that comes from it,” said Bal. “And even though we may not see it, we know there are people out there that need the support.”

Bal said he’s happy to see his team at Lotus come together for a good cause.

“They believe in each other and they believe helping others is important.”

Bal added that giving back is part of Lotus Terminals identity as a business.

“We are very lucky to be doing what we are doing,” he said. “We are blessed that we’ve had success and it’s also a blessing to be able to help those in need.”

SEE ALSO: Lotus Terminals wins business excellence award

He said once the Christmas sock drive starts each year, there is a noticeable boost in the energy and Christmas spirit around the office and yard. It’s become the company’s defacto kickoff to Christmas.

“Everyone gets excited,” explained Bal. “People start talking about where to get socks from, what kind of socks—mens’ socks, womens’ socks, ankle socks, knee socks—there’s a lot of sock conversations (laughs). Obviously there is a lot of excitement because socks aren’t that interesting of a topic.”

Lotus Terminals’ Bob Meredith, who went to the sock drop dressed as Santa, said the company fundraiser really hit home for him this year.

“Usually we go down there and the CCK people come out and we grab a couple photos,” explained Meredith. “But this time, there was a full-blown food bank shop going on. So there were tonnes of people there.”

Meredith said the sheer numbers of people lined up for food was a bit shocking. He said the need was unimaginable to witness and it underlined to him how important giving is, even if it’s just a little.

But because CCK volunteers and employees were dealing with food bank distribution, no one was there to accept the Lotus Terminals donation. As such, Meredith had to walk over to find someone.

“I was wandering through this (food bank) lineup dressed as Santa Claus and everyone was high-fiving me and calling out ‘Santa! Santa!’ Adults and kids,” said Meredith. “It was really touching to see how much love there is for Santa and Christmas.”

After Meredith found someone to deliver the socks and cash to, they both went back outside to Lotus’s truck to make the handover. Suddenly, a little boy, maybe three years old, ran over to Meredith and hugged him.

“He thought I was Santa,” Meredith said. “He broke away from his mom and ran up to me and he wrapped his arms around my legs.”

The little boy’s mom walked across the parking lot and asked for a Santa pic with Meredith.

“I literally did a Santa picture right there in the parking lot at CCK,” he added. “I almost cried.”

For Meredith, the sock and cash drive really reflects Lotus’s committment to charity. Bringing some Christmas cheer to a little boy was the icing on the cake.

“I really just want everybody to know that what we are trying to do is actually getting somewhere,” he noted. “We are making a difference.”

Meredith was proud of everyone at Lotus Terminals for their efforts again this year. He said it’s the company culture that really drives the charity side of things.

“The sock drive is just something everybody gets behind. I am very proud of my teammates.”

Saran Bal, founder of Lotus Terminals, told the Cloverdale Reporter last year that charitable initiatives are great because they often inspire people to give.

“If everyone can give a little bit, we can raise a lot,” he said then. “Sometimes people don’t always think about (charitable efforts), so when we do something like this, it can really motivate people.”

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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