Two years ago around Christmastime, Luke Barton and his friend Adam Powell decided to do something incredibly special and kind for someone in need. They went to a Calgary shelter and asked if there was a gentleman that they could take for dinner and a shopping trip. They took George, and the night turned out to be the highlight of that Christmas for Luke and Adam.

“Adam was a very giving person,” says Laurie Powell, his mother. “He was a very open guy who made friends wherever he went.”

In October 2016, Adam was killed in a car accident just a week before his 28th birthday. As Christmas approached, his family began to think about how they’d want to remember Adam this year. They decided they would like to do a hands-on act of kindness like Adam would have. The Powell family contacted Luke and began to make plans for their Christmas miracle.

“This is something Adam had done, and we thought it was a great way to continue his legacy of openness and kindness,” Laurie says.

On December 22, 2016, the Powell family alongside Luke and a handful of Adam’s closest friends, joined together with 9 residents from The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre. Each resident was paired with a couple, and that couple took the resident on a $200-shopping trip to Walmart. Residents were encouraged to shop not just for things they need, but also for something they wouldn’t normally treat themselves to. After the shopping trip each group met up at The Keg for steak dinner.

The evening was filled with smiles, a few tears, and a lot of joy.

“It’s hard to put into words the energy that surrounded us in that Walmart and at the Keg last night,” says Brittany Vine, Community Engagement Manager for The Mustard Seed.

One resident ordered coffee with her dinner so she “could stay up late and look at all the beautiful things she’d been given.” Another expressed to us as he returned home that the night “restored his faith in humanity.” A third told us she woke up the next morning and decided that while she’d been dreading Christmas because she couldn’t be close to loved ones, she would take this act of kindness and pay it forward. She is cooking Christmas dinner and inviting other residents to join her.

“It’s a tough Christmas for us and for Adam’s friends as well, but this was a lovely night,” Laurie says. “It was healing for us, it was helpful for the residents – everyone had fun.”

Adam’s family has already expressed their desire to see this night grow and become an annual tradition. “We’re hoping we’ll have at least as many if not more next year,” Laurie says.

The Mustard Seed is honoured to have been touched by Adam’s legacy. We are grateful to his family and friends for providing such a special evening for our residents. Thank you.