Celebrating 40 years of smiles

An extraordinary career, filled with dedication and generosity

“If we can help put a smile on a child’s face,” said Maria Giles, “that’s the whole world. They’re our future.”

Maria is someone who knows a lot about smiles. In April 2021 she was recognized for 40 years of delighting customers as a team member of Save-On-Foods, an organization she loves to work for.

As a valuable team member at the Willingdon Save-On-Foods store in Burnaby, Maria has been injecting fun and creativity into fundraising events to support BC Children’s Hospital.

This includes dressing up in a full cowboy outfit during Round Up charity drives, where customers can round up their bill to the nearest dollar and donate the difference, and Hawaiian days, in which all team members wear colourful Hawaiian outfits to encourage donations. She even convinced two male store managers to wear grass skirts to support the cause.

The reason behind Maria’s staunch support of BC Children’s is close to her heart. Her daughter Vanessa was born with developmental issues, and thanks to the staff and experts at BC Children’s Vanessa is now living a full and happy life.

Even after 40 years at Save-On-Foods, Maria is still going strong, both in her love of serving customers and helping BC Children’s. “I won’t change my passion for raising money for BC Children’s Hospital,” said Maria. “It’s a passion, it’s a drive that I won’t change until the day I retire, and I won’t even change after that.”


This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 issue of Shine magazine.

Shine Fall 2021 | Download the PDF

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