What began as a simple thought that crossed the mind of Sharon Hapton during a walk has grown into a charitable endeavour inspiring soup making volunteers across Canada and parts of the United States.

Susan Hapton, a self-professed soup maker, says the Soup Sisters idea, and the name, came to her in 2009 while she was coming to terms with the fact she would soon be an empty nester.

“I was that person who always showed up at the door when I had friends or family who were not well for any number of reasons,” explains Hapton. “I always showed up with soup and I realized that it had the power to change their day, it really did.”

Hapton believed that women and children fleeing domestic abuse and homeless youth would benefit from the care and warmth that comes in a bowl of soup.

On her birthday, Hapton gathered a group of her friends for a night of soup-making.

Soup Sisters soon grew from its humble beginnings and sibling arms of the organization have popped up nationally and in the United States.

Making soup is one way to introduce young people to volunteering and philanthropy. Students from Beiseker Public School recently spent time with the Soup Sisters, learning to make soup destined for homeless youth.

One of the organizations to benefit from the soup is The Doorway, an organization that helps young people get off the streets. The executive director of The Doorway, Marilyn Dyck, says the donated soup means more than just nourishment to the marginalized youth.

“They don't feel included by community or respected by community,” said Dyck. “So Sharon approaching us and saying we'd like to do this for young people at The Doorway is a significant gift. It happens every month. It's a tangible statement that the community cares about them.”

For sharing her love of soup-making while making a difference in the lives of people in need, Sharon Hapton is this week’s Inspiring Albertan.

With files from CTV's Darrel Janz