Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Food


My family has fond memories of Forwell's Variety Store. Just two blocks from our first residence in Waterloo and situated directly opposite the campus of Wilfrid Laurier University.

The children ages eight and two at the time remember the rows of penny candy taken as treasure in brown paper bags. Lauren remembers the big kids from the college all around. Their styles. Their conversation. Jordan remembers the pretty girls who ran the counter, part-time employees going to school and making some money from Joe Forwell and his daughter.

The place was an all-purpose students' market...treats, batteries, first-aid, cleansers, groceries, hardware, stationery, novels, videos, fresh sausage, juices. So much under one roof!

The thing that we didn't know until later was Joe's compassion for students in need. They were constantly juggling expenses for tuition, books, rent, haircuts, O.S.A.P. interest, laundry, the occasional date.

Joe knew that many of them were away from home and not eating properly. Consequently he let it be known that he was not averse to an occasional bag of groceries leaving the store gratis. It was suggested that perhaps down the road graduated students, happily employed, might chip into "the fund" for others who followed.

In this fashion an unofficial institution was established at Laurier and many young adults learned a mighty lesson in honest charity.

Thank you Joe and family.

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