Danny joined Treehaus last March as a full-time member, working independently on his social enterprise, feedfive. Now he’s become one of Treehaus’ most active members, often working late into the night.
Feedfive began as a group of friends and volunteers preparing and serving meals at Ray of Hope, a charity providing resources for people struggling with crime, addiction and homelessness in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. When the group found it was no longer possible to pay for the ingredients themselves, Danny came up with the idea to sell t-shirts to fund the meals and began developing feedfive in March 2015.
Each t-shirt costs $29 and helps feed five people in need in our community, but it’s about much more than just a meal; it helps connect people with Ray of Hope and their other resources. “When someone donates five meals, they’re not just giving someone a meal to be able to go through the day, but they’re also providing a place for them to be with other people who are going through the same thing, and be able to connect with professionals who can help them get back on their feet,” shared Danny.
When Danny first decided to work on feedfive full-time however, he found staying productive while working from home was a real struggle. “I tried to work from home for a couple months, and it was very difficult for me as I wasn’t able to separate my work life from my personal life. It was also very distracting being around my TV and my fridge.”
So he began looking for an office space with fewer distractions. “I found I was much more productive when I worked out of Treehaus with other people around me,” he said. “This isn’t an exaggeration but my productivity and efficiency has more than tripled since I joined. Plus, the location is key, it’s right in the middle of everything and it’s close to where I live. The other residents are great to work with and be around. The people and community-basis were just what I was looking for.”
Feedfive is a very time consuming venture for Danny, who now runs it as his full time job. He operates the business nearly independently, while relying on a team of devoted volunteers to help cook and serve the meals. “If people want to do more than buy a shirt they can donate their time and energy, and they can help with preparing or serving the meals, or both,” said Danny. “We do every third Monday and Tuesday [at Ray of Hope]. As volunteers, we are our own community as well. It’s a great group of like-minded individuals, who share similar values and are able to work side-by-side. Serving meals is also a cool experience as you interact with the guests and get to know them a bit better, and you get to see the impact directly!”
Feedfive is always looking for volunteers, and anyone from individuals to large corporate groups can help out! Find out more about volunteering at feedfive.ca/volunteer.
Written by Laura Janzen, Community Manager