A Mission woman has become part of Tim Hortons new limited-edition collection of Hero Cups to honour and recognize frontliners, nominated by Canadians, for their dedication.
Cheyenne Schulz has been working at Tim Hortons for more than 10 years while also working as an outreach worker.
Throughout the pandemic Schulz has worked tirelessly to help Mission’s vulnerable population by making sure they have food, hygiene and shelter necessities.
Schulz did not miss a beat when the virus hit but rather chose to go out in the community and make sure people were safe and secure.
When Schulz was 15, she got her first job at Tim Hortons and knew almost right away she had found her calling. Not in the restaurant business necessarily, but in serving the community and helping the vulnerable and homeless people she would see on her way to work in downtown Mission.
She knew as a ninth-grader that there had to be something she could do to help those struggling with poverty, mental illness and trauma.
“I’d give the shirt off my back if someone needed it,” said Schulz, now 26, and an Indigenous outreach worker with Mission Friendship Centre and the First Nations Health Authority.
“I’m very passionate about helping people.”
After graduating high school, she studied criminology to better understand the criminal justice system and poverty, and then went on to get certified as a community support worker.
And Schulz certainly wasn’t going to let the COVID-19 outbreak – scary as it has been – stop her from taking care of the people and communities she supports. “If anything,” she said, “I feel like it lit a fire under me to get out there.”
Keeping a community safe during a crisis Cheyenne’s role is to support the most vulnerable community members. She goes out to camps, bringing food, hygiene packs, harm reduction resources and anything else people might need. She helps people find housing, get income assistance, connect with counselling, and enter treatment.
Because her centre had to physically close its doors to the public during the pandemic, Cheyenne has been out in the community more than ever, five days a week, doing her rounds, delivering meals, and trying to meet the needs of as many people as she can.
Twice a week, she brings soap, water and sanitizer to each camp and she provides education and updates on the outbreak.
She’s a member of several organizations dedicated to helping the vulnerable, including the Mission Overdose Action Team, the Mission Outreach Service Team, and the Vulnerable Person Action Team.
It’s emotionally tiring work, but Cheyenne loves her job. She’s also cherished the opportunity to learn more about Indigenous culture.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “There are a few Elders who come to the Centre, they’re full of knowledge and I’m always learning. Every time I go in, I walk out having learned something new.”
Tim Hortons Hero Cups pay tribute to Canadian heroes of the pandemic. The new limited-edition cups feature the names of up to 100 real heroes on each cup.