Noted businessman and philanthropist Jesse Willms provided a Valentine’s Day romantic dinner for the less fortunate people of the Edmonton community.
“My goal was to find a way to make everyone feel loved on Valentine’s Day,” Willms said. “I love my community and Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, so I wanted to share the love.”
Who Is Jesse Willms?
Jesse Willms started his first business in his parents” basement when he was 16 years old. Since then he has grown it into a multimillion-dollar company. Last summer he was inspired by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to start giving back to the community. Since then he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and many hours of his time to responsible non-profit organizations.
What Is The Bissell Centre?
The Bissell Centre was founded 100 years ago in Edmonton on the premise that neighbors should help neighbors. At first the Bissell Centre worked with members of the Ukrainian immigrant community. Today, it provides services for any Edmonton resident facing unemployment, homelessness or poverty.
The organization works to find places to live for homeless people. The Bissell Centre also provides a place where they can shower, do their laundry, have access to a clean toilet and read books or watch movies. Their employment center matches companies who need day laborers with people who are willing to work. It also offers basic job skills classes so they can find permanent employment. A special service is provided for young mothers who have never entered the workforce before and do not know how to access the jobs that are available to them.
What Happened On Valentine’s Day At The Bissell Centre?
On Monday night, with the support of Jesse Willms, the Bissell Centre provided dinner and gifts for 32 adults and 48 children.
The kids were given Boston Pizza heart shaped pizzas in the daycare center. They were also given gift bags with candy and teddy bears. The adults were fed a lasagna dinner and given their own gift bags. The women received make up, razors, nail polish, lipstick and chocolate among other gifts.
“I was told by one couple it was nice to finally spend some time together because they never get a chance to go out,” Willms said. “Other people simply said it was just nice to be treated like members of the community. They told us that they often have trouble getting served a latte because the coffee shop workers treat them poorly.”
Check out more of Jesse Willms’ philanthropic work here
Or get some business and entrepreneural advice from him right here