Igniting generosity with comfort food

Behind every giving heart are the sparks of inspiration and love. That was certainly the case with Ash Brokerage’s Campbell’s® Chicken Noodle Soup donation that occurred on November 6. For the third consecutive year, Tracey Ash and her team from Ash Brokerage stopped by the Parkview Cancer Institute’s (PCI) Infusion Center to donate soup for patients.

Almost 10 years ago, Tracey’s friend, Karen Waldron, was diagnosed with breast cancer. They were such good friends that she was a grandmother figure to Tracey’s son, James, and very important to him. In 2007, right around the time that Karen was diagnosed, Campbell’s® came out with their iconic pink labels on their chicken noodle and tomato soups in support of breast cancer. Karen became inspired.

As she was receiving treatments at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola, she decided to make “soup care packages” for her friends there, whom she called her “cancer family”. Tracey and James were there to witness Karen’s act of generosity while she was fighting her own battle. She unfortunately passed away on December 3, 2008.

To keep Karen’s legacy alive, Tracey asked that her co-workers donate cans of Campbell’s® chicken noodle soup.

“2016 was the first year that we decided to do this. It was James’ 21st birthday and he was an intern at Ash Brokerage. I decided to have a surprise carry-in for him, but everyone wanted to participate and it just kept growing,” Tracey explained, while laughing. “By this time we had enough to feed an army. So I asked that they bring Campbell’s® chicken noodle soup to help keep Karen’s legacy alive. We collected 354 cans of soup that year and were able to make 177 care packages.”

Each care package consists of two cans of soup along with a note of encouragement and hope. This year, they set a record by collecting 1,036 cans of soup to create their soup care packages. Homestead High School’s Honors 4 and 5 Spanish classes were among the many eager volunteers who helped write the notes of encouragement.

When asked if she had a goal for 2019, Tracey stated, “Well, James and I have always believed in paying it forward and I always want to beat the year before, but my goal for next year is to get even more people to participate and be involved.”

This lovely act of generosity will forever warm the hearts of patients. To learn more about how you can join others in giving back to our community, visit ParkviewFoundations.org.

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