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GuelphToday delivers Random Act of Kindness to Ed Pickersgill

We surprised the long-time community giver with items for The Bench

Ed Pickersgill, a 77-year-old anti-poverty activist, started The Bench in 2017 on upper Wyndham Street. It has since become a lifeline for many Guelphites in need.

Ed provides community members with essential items, like food and hygiene products, every single day, without asking for anything in return.

But Ed isn’t just a selfless community giver. He also inspires others to do good deeds in the community, too.

Many in Guelph have seen the positive impact of Ed’s work at The Bench and recognize the number of people who depend on Ed. His work has inspired countless citizens to donate to The Bench to help Ed provide for those in need.

Ed is always looking out for others and never seeks recognition for his work.

That is why we at GuelphToday were so pleased to surprise Ed with a Random Act of Kindness, to show our thanks and gratitude for his positive impact on our community.

“Ed deserves recognition for looking after those who otherwise would go unnoticed,” his nominator Laurie MacIntyre said in a letter to GuelphToday.

Our team arrived at The Bench to surprise Ed with a brand new wagon to transport his items to the Wyndham Street location. Additionally, our community partners came together to help us give back to Ed as well. FreshCo provided $100 in gift cards, the Downtown Guelph Business Association donated $100 in Wimpy’s Diner gift cards and Decadently Yours provided four dozen cupcakes, which Ed said were a huge hit among visitors to The Bench!

“I was certainly surprised by Liz (from GuelphToday) and others who showed up as part of the Random Acts of Kindness campaign,” Ed said of the surprise. “The affirmations, recognition and support were awesome and deeply appreciated as part of our daily poverty relief efforts.”

Our surprise for Ed was a small way for us to say celebrate a man who does so much good for our community. 

Thank you to our generous co-sponsors Decadently Yours, the Downtown Guelph Business Association and FreshCo for making this Random Act of Kindness possible.

If you know someone deserving of a Random Act of Kindness, our nomination form is always open for new submissions.

If you would like to support our Random Acts of Kindness program, please email

Riley Smith, Community Cares team

About the Author: Riley Smith, Community Cares team

Riley is a Communications Specialist and member of the Village Media Cares Team, whose mission is to create meaningful, long-lasting and positive change in the communities we serve.
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