International Day to Eradicate Poverty 2020!


Poverty Talks! is pleased to announce our 2020 event for International Day to Eradicate Poverty, on Saturday October 17th!

This year has brought unprecedented times upon us, and has arguably affected people in poverty disproportionately. This year we focus on the stories of how COVID-19 has impacted Calgarians experiencing poverty, and will be an entirely online event and we would be delighted if you could join us!

Register for the event at:

We are pleased to be collaborating with Dignity for All's Chew on This! campaign. For more information on how to support this important campaign, please visit them here.

List of Participants

This year's list of participants is our broadest yet, from all walks of life, including four who wished to remain anonymous. Learn more about our participants below:


Volunteering is something that Jamie enjoys. She loves getting to meet new people who like to help others as well. As a new mom, her 1-year-old baby is her everything. Family is a strong priority and Jamie loves spending time with her own. In her free time, you can find Jamie having fun at an arcade or enjoying the fresh air on a walk.


Jenn would be described as a power mom. Not only does she take care of her four beautiful children, but she also goes above and beyond to help others. Having children with neurological disabilities may bring challenges, however, Jenn sees it as a way for her to emphasize with other moms to support them. She runs the North East Calgary moms group that supports moms all over the North East. Through this group, moms can lean on each other in times of need and know they are not alone. They help each other within the group as well as others in the greater community. Over the summer, they organized 50 backpacks with school supplies for children who may not be able to get supplies this year. This power mom supports her kids, her family, other moms, her community and even fosters animals through animal shelters.


As team lead for Resident PLEX, Grace has done incredible work with helping families or those in need. These free food pantries may be little but they make a huge difference for those who struggle to get food. Helping at Soaps and Suds is another commitment Grace has made that helps others. She understands such tasks like having a shower can be a huge task for some. Grace has also put much time and hard work with various volunteer work in the greater Forest Lawn area in Calgary. She loves to lend a hand where ever and whenever she is needed. Other then volunteer work, Grace spends her time enjoying many outdoor activities.


Although he was originally from Toronto, Reid has found Calgary as his home. He has been able to express his love for nature photography. He enjoys capturing the beauty of the environment around him and all of its contents. Photography allows Reid to view nature in a new light and gain a greater appreciation for it. Reid’s love for the environment has helped him explore his interests such as bird watching and bike riding.


Many do not realize how much they should appreciate everyday tasks such as having a shower. For those who don’t have access to running water, taking a shower is next to impossible. However, Bev has helped create this challenge into a manageable task. As team lead for Soaps and Suds, she helps this program provide free showers for those in poverty. Not only does she help provide the small task of keeping clean, but Bev also helps provide food for those who are in need through volunteering with resident PLEX. This program provides homelessness with free food pantries. Bev understands that small everyday things, such as showering and having food on the table, are so important to everyone and that there are people who are unable to do this. She also helps pass these values onto younger generations such as with her great-granddaughter, with whom she spends a lot of time. 


Photographer: Laura Hussy

Nigel is a guy who does it all! For many years, he has actively stood up for human rights and homelessness. This commitment has allowed him to be on the steering committee for Poverty Talks and the Client Action Committee. Nigel’s impressive passion to help those in need has been taken a step further as he has researched for the Homeless Charter of RIghts. The list goes on and on! His involvement in poverty and homelessness is incredible. What is even more incredible is all of this time he invests in helping others and making a difference in the world. You can tell he truly is selfless.

Community Member 1

This community member has demonstrated such incredible strength. She has been a strong advocate for mental health issues. In this day and age, the importance of being educated and understanding mental health is very significant. This community member makes sure this happens. She fights for those who are suffering from mental health when they are unable to fight for themselves. She is their rock. Her passion for fighting against adversity is something that is deeply respected and supported by those who know her.

Community Member 2

Dealing with the new changes in COVID has created great challenges for this community member. However, she has never let these challenges stop her from bringing positivity to everyone. Her warm smiles are contagious and she wears one even when she is faced with tough times. She has always reached out to others with kind, caring words and never misses the opportunity to get to know someone. Her efforts to help those in need with resources and food are brought with positivity and care. She truly represents what it means to be resilient.

Community Member 3

Family is always this community member’s priority. His strong loyalty towards his children and wife are underestimated. This community member values loyalty so much that he will move mountains for his loved ones and those who are very lucky to be in his life. His care and love are reflected in his beautiful children he and his wife have raised together. His commitment to his family is something that many see through his strength and support towards others. Without a doubt, he is a true dad as his dad jokes will always make you laugh (or groan)!

Community Member 4

Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt that you have known them forever? This community member will give you this feeling. Her ability to be very open towards others is a rare quality that many values. With this openness, she brings honesty and friendliness. This community member never fails to make others feel special. She uses her love for cooking to make an impact on others. She always makes sure everyone has a plate of her famous cooking and leaves with a full stomach. She always makes sure everyone is accounted for and taken care of. In her care, no one is turned away.


Hannah Gwynn is a force to be reckoned with! She is always pursuing ways to advocate for what she believes in. Her passion for gender topics is reflected in her studies in the Women’s Trade Program at SAIT. It is incredible how Hannah uses her interests to motivate her. While being busy with her studies, Hannah makes time to work at the new women’s shelter in Calgary. Her caring personality is also reflected in her love for animals. 


Sue has been a member of Poverty Talks since 2016. Her dedication to the program goes beyond assisting the community members with finding resources. Sue’s passion for helping others allows her to make strong connections with the community members that create long-lasting friendships. Her love for helping others is supported by her husband and family, whom she values greatly. Sue’s spirit contributes to strong attributes in the program.


One word to describe Maria is inspiring. Immigrated from Greece, Maria has had strong empathy towards those in need. Her personal story of coming to Canada to pursue a better life influences her strong will to make a difference for others. As the founder of Maria’s Food and Pantry Assistance, Maria has helped many who have struggled to put food on the table. Not only does she have an outside food pantry, but Maria has also expanded to provide a multicultural library and a future freezer. Being involved with the Community Neighbor shows Maria’s strong love for family and communities. Maria welcomes strangers with open arms and is dedicated to helping those in need, no matter what. The special bonds Maria has made turns many strangers into neighbours, no matter what community they are from. Maria is supported by a lovely family, although she is like a mother to those who have been fortunate enough to cross her path.