About UsMeet the Team
How We Got Started
A message from Brady Lumsden
I was able to live in many parts of the world from a very young age because of my parents’ jobs. The one place I will never forget is Vietnam. My family spent a year there experiencing the completely different culture and landscape as I went to school at South Saigon International School with my sister. Vietnam is a great country with a very fascinating history but I remember it for much different reasons. I was 9 years old at the time, old enough to tie my shoes with some proficiency but not yet old enough to understand poverty. I saw children, those who were my age, or younger, begging on the streets. They would be holding their siblings and helplessly asking for food, money, anything. This sparked the question inside of me; why them? The only difference between myself and these kids were the countries in which we were born. Why must they have almost nothing and I have so much? What if walked a mile in their shoes? This incomprehensible question of why and empathetic understanding remains to be the main factor driving my every action.
Moving back to Canada, I knew from a young age that there was something I could do for my peers overseas. I have a voice, I had a computer and I had a bicycle. I created a presentation/speech about the topic of child poverty and child labor. As a ten year old, I rode my bike to 6 elementary schools in my city of Langley and gave my speech during school assemblies. I spoke to over 1000 students from grade 1 to 7 about my experiences with the injustices in this world, raising awareness about these crucial issues!
The only thing that has ever shocked me more than finding the truth out about Santa (that he really doesn’t like whole milk that is) was when I found out about these problems existing in Canada. Through my cousins I heard the story of a friend who was going home to no food. Every weekend this student was going home to one Clif Bar per day and that was it! This empathetic feeling and the questions of why kept coming back and we knew, because the problem was as close as our own neighborhood, we could do something to fix it. My cousins and myself looked into getting this friend more food but we could not find any existing programs that would do that for him. Weekend Fuelbag was the solution to this problem. We created the program to allow peers at our school to eat on the weekends, we never expected to learn what we have about the areas we live in.
1 in 5 children in B.C are living in poverty. 200,000 kids are going home with not enough food and for the majority of people, this is the first time you may have heard that. One of the larger differences in poverty in a first world country like Canada and poverty in a country similar to Vietnam is the social services we have here. They are services, such as welfare, housing, etc. that the government provides to people with low, or no, income. These services are just enough to sweep the problem under the rug so it is not plainly visible yet not remotely close to enough to actually change the situation.
As I saw when I was 9, poverty was everywhere you could look in Vietnam yet in B.C. you only see it in small specific areas. There are regions across the province where the poverty rate is close to 50% and no one would ever know just by driving through. To exemplify this, we can observe the homelessness crisis in B.C. According to the Social Housing Alliance of B.C, there are roughly 11,000 people who are considered “visibly homeless” living on the streets. There are 40,000 homeless people who sleep in cars, stay with family, couch surf, etc., and 60 000 who spend over 50% of their income on rent and are at high risk of becoming homeless. Of the 111,000 people who do not have a basic necessity such as shelter (or risk losing it), we can only see 11,000 of them. The same principle applies to all of child poverty. Just because you can not see the hungry faces of Canadian children, does not mean they do not exist.
The main factor I empathize with in the children suffering is that they are children. The Poverty they are enduring is no fault of their own. They did not choose drugs, they did not become alcoholics, they did not study poorly and end up with a low-wage job. They are kids! You do not get to choose where you are born or who are you born to so how can we idle on as children suffer through decisions they did not make? Every culture from every country emphasizes the fact that it takes a community to raise a child yet why is it that the children who need the community the most are recognized the least? I ask again why. Why does everyone turn a blind eye to Canadian children in-need? They don’t.
People can’t help with a problem they don’t know exists. The problem with poverty in BC is you can’t see it. It doesn’t appear to affect your day to day life (which is not true) and thus there isn’t anything asking you to step-up and take action. Once we learn that this problem exists, that is when we have to take action.
Weekend Fuelbag was started by youth for youth but it takes a community to keep the program running and to change the lives of local students forever. Support Weekend Fuelbag in enabling youth now to create change forever!
Meet the Team
CEO and Co-Founder
Initially started with his cousins, he took over running the organization when they moved across the country and continues running it while completing his high school education.
A former graduate of a Langley high school and Brady’s older sister, Cassie helps as much as she can with Weekend Fuelbag while pursuing a post-secondary education.
Director of Public Relations
Lizzie is a friend of Brady’s who began helping out with Weekend Fuelbag at the beginning of 2017 and wanted to step up her role with the charity when the opportunity was presented to her.
Director of Publicity
A good friend of Brady’s through a mutual interest in sports, Carson is a current high school student attending a Langley high school.
In British Columbia, 1 in 5 children are living in poverty. It affects the families of over 200 000 children. There is a direct link between malnourishment, poor health and improper education.
We give children food every weekend, 52 weeks a year, to allow students to come to school healthy and ready to learn. By supporting Weekend Fuelbag you are enabling students to take control of circumstances they did not decide and allowing them to break the cycle of poverty.