One of Edmonton’s most prominent can-do philanthropists is back just in time for the start of school.
Along with the Can Man Dan Foundation, Dan Johnstone held his eighth-annual We’re Here For Ya Day event Sunday at three Edmonton locations where families were able to receive anything from free backpacks and school supplies to food hampers, personal hygiene products and free hair cut vouchers.
More than 2,300 low-income men, women, and children attended the event last year, Johnstone said in a news release Sunday.
“The back-to-school season can be such an expensive time of year for families, especially when you’re on a limited budget,” Johnstone said. “I want Edmontonians to know that I have their backs.”
Raised by a single-parent in a low-income household, Johnstone knows first-hand how difficult the back-to-school season can be for struggling families.
“It’s my duty, it really is. For years, this city, different social programs, and even complete strangers took care of my family and I, and now it’s time for me to keep the ball rolling,” Johnstone said. “Every year this event grows bigger and bigger, and it costs more and more to fund, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it. It’s a pleasure for the foundation to host this event each year, and when I see thousands of smiles on happy kids’ faces, I know it’s all worth it.”
Johnstone is known for his lengthy winter camp-outs collecting food, toys and monetary donations for Edmonton’s Food Bank and Santas Anonymous.