If you live in Campbell River, you’ve probably heard of Hama?Elas.
The amazing award-winning community kitchen has become a staple over the last few years. It has kept countless residents fed with delicious home-cooked meals in a warm and caring environment.
Less of us knew the person behind all the love.
The Grassroots Kind Hearts Society founder, Krisandra Walkus.
“She was amazing, and what she did for the most vulnerable in this community was incredible. I greatly admired her,” local health activist Lois Jarvis told the Campbell River Mirror.
Krisandra started the organization after consistently bringing food to homeless members of the community no matter the weather.
After feeling like more needed to be done beyond her individual acts of compassion, she started the society. She served daily dinners at a facility behind the downtown Campbell River fire hall.
When this building was sold, she was undeterred.
She moved the operation to the now well-known Hama?Elas Community Kitchen, where volunteers have served meals to those who need them ever since.
“When I originally started doing this, it was six years ago in November or October. It was crazy because we were in knee-high snow, and everything was outside. We kept it going and kept it going,” Krisandra told the Campbell River Mirror back in 2020.
“I think that people are more willing to help now because we’ve been here for so much longer than everybody thought… The Campbell River community has been awesome with the support.”
Walkus was named the 2017 Woman of Inspiration by the Campbell River Women’s Centre, and she received a Local Hero award in 2018 for the Diversity and Inclusion category.
She was always thankful for the support she received from the community, and that support hasn’t gone anywhere, even since her passing.
At just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Walkus passed away surrounded by family.
Over 60 people came to Hama?Elas Community Kitchen on October 26th to pay their respects to Walkus.
“We are all grateful for the movement she started to feed family and friends another meal every day,” said a Facebook post on Hama?Elas’ page.
While she may have moved on, the institution she built is going nowhere. Her legacy will continue in all the people who got behind her vision of a more caring community, and this will continue for years to come.
Rest in Power, Krisandra.