Mourning Sooke mom preps free meals for the community

Giving back to Sooke helps Brooke Ervin cope with loss of daughter Hannah Day

Sooke mother Brooke Ervin has been prepping hundreds of free meals for the community to help out during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Ervin says giving back to the community is helping her cope with the loss of daughter Hannah Day, who tragically died last year after a long battle with cancer. (Photo contributed by Brooke Ervin)

Sooke mother Brooke Ervin has been prepping hundreds of free meals for the community to help out during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Ervin says giving back to the community is helping her cope with the loss of daughter Hannah Day, who tragically died last year after a long battle with cancer. (Photo contributed by Brooke Ervin)

A mourning Sooke mother is slowly mending her broken heart by giving back to those around her.

Last year on Mother’s Day, Brooke Ervin’s daughter, Hannah Day, died after a seven-year battle with cancer. The nine year old fell ill of a bacterial infection after a chemotherapy session depleted her immune system.

Ervin explained that over the years Hannah was receiving treatment in B.C. Children’s hospital in Vancouver, the community rallied behind them in multiple ways.

“People helped provide us with clothes, food, money … you name it. At one point we also lost our house in a fire, and people started dropping so much food off for us that I actually gained weight,” Ervin recalled. “It just showed me what a community could do.”

READ MORE: Hannah Day tragically dies at nine years old after battling cancer

After Hannah died, Ervin found she had free time and decided to start cooking a few meals for friends and family.

“I was so consumed with my daughter, and with hospitals and phone calls … after she passed I was like, ‘OK well what now,’” said Ervin.

Three weeks ago, after the pandemic had broken out, one of the people she usually cooks for gifted Ervin a cash donation, which sparked the idea to start meal prepping for more people in the community.

“He gave me $400 and said, ‘here, cook for free this week, on me’, and so I posted to Facebook to see if anyone needed a meal, and the response was overwhelming. I ended up spending about $900 in groceries that week trying to cook for everyone who reached out,” said Ervin.

The next week, she had some food left over and decided to do the same thing again, except made the meals first this time so she knew exactly how many she could realistically give out.

“I made about 300 meals that next week,” said Ervin, adding that members of the community have also been reaching out to her wanting to help out. “Some people came forward with baked goods, others offered to help me deliver.”

Ervin has been mindful of social distancing throughout , and said there is no direct contact with people, as she cooks all the meals herself and then leaves them out on the doorstep for people who want to pick one up or deliver it themselves. When Ervin delivers she just drops the food off on the person’s step, knocks and walks away.

“I have never actually met any person I’ve delivered to, aside from seeing a few of them through the window,” said Ervin.

All of the meals are free to whoever needs them, but are aimed at helping seniors, people with compromised immune systems, those in isolation or having financial issues. Ervin has made more than 800 meals in the last three weeks.

“I can’t even explain the pain in my legs and feet,” Ervin laughed, saying she spent 36 hours over the weekend preparing food for this week.

Ervin said keeping herself busy over the last few weeks has helped keep her mind occupied from mourning Hannah.

“Life without my daughter has been quite unbearable. My heart is broken. People see me as this happy bubbly person, but on the inside I am suffering,” said Ervin. “So when I see the old lady smiling from her window when I drop a meal off for her, I don’t know… It just repairs a little piece of my heart.”

Ervin said she plans to keep providing meals for the community as long as she can afford to.

Because covering the cost of all the meals is impossible on her own, Ervin has become resourceful.

She owns a bouncy castle company that is not currently operating because of the pandemic, so instead has started to rent them out by donation to help cover the cost of the meals.

“I have a whole bunch of them, and I only rent them out once so there is no chance to spread the virus,” said Ervin, explaining families can rent the castles for a whole day or an afternoon.

“It’s all I have to give – bouncy castles and food – just don’t eat the food in the bouncy castle.”

ALSO READ: Old-fashioned picnic will honour Hannah Day

With so many people out of work or isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak, Ervin said this is a perfect opportunity to show gratitude for how much Sooke supported her in the past.

“I feel like this journey with my daughter has taught me so much, and I don’t know where I’d be without her,” said Ervin.

“She has shown me that I have a purpose and a gift for helping people. And helping others is what helps me cope.”

People wishing to receive the meals must contact Ervin with their address, a quick description of how many meals they are looking for, as well if they have any allergies.

If you or someone you know is in need of a hot meal, if you would like to rent a bouncy castle, or would like to donate to Ervin’s initiative contact her directly on Facebook under the name “Brookie Louise” or by email at Sookestrong@hotmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sooke mother Brooke Ervin has been prepping hundreds of free meals for the community to help out during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Ervin says giving back to the community is helping her cope with the loss of daughter Hannah Day, who tragically died last year after a long battle with cancer. (Photo contributed by Brooke Ervin)

Sooke mother Brooke Ervin has been prepping hundreds of free meals for the community to help out during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Ervin says giving back to the community is helping her cope with the loss of daughter Hannah Day, who tragically died last year after a long battle with cancer. (Photo contributed by Brooke Ervin)

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file)
Webinars help Greater Victoria residents affected by dementia prepare for the holidays

COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions can add additional challenges for people living with dementia

Masks are mandatory for passengers on board BC Transit buses and for those waiting at covered bus stops. (BC Transit/Facebook)
Masks now mandatory on BC Transit buses, at covered bus stops

Face shields no longer meet face-covering requirements per updated policy

Rose Ellis, 93, and her Shih Tzu, Zoey, have been clients of ElderDog Victoria since last summer. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria ElderDog program seeking more seniors, pups to support

Service helps elderly people to care for their canine companions

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read