This event was a dream of mine and with an amazing team, we did it! Over the recent Family Day weekend in Downtown Langley, we set up a pop-up shop filled with donated clothing, food, a Valentine's card-making station and haircuts. Our goal was to provide a place where those experiencing homelessness and those living in extreme poverty could drop by, grab a bite to eat and take some clothing or needed essentials. On Sunday, hairstylist Mell Andrew donated her time and made some people very happy. For some, paying for a haircut is easily fit into the budget and for others this is not the case. The lovely lady below received a trim and the beautiful braid you see in the photo. That simple braid put the biggest twinkle in her eye and she was overjoyed. Watching some amazing transformations was a big highlight for the volunteer team.
While this event took a lot of planning and energy to pull off, it was achievable. That gives me hope that we will see more events like this in the future. Many guests were shocked to hear we were simply a group of neighbours coming together to provide a service. Personally, this event was a great way to meet the community I hope to continue to help. This event was an excellent learning opportunity and a great reminder that at the core of the issue of homelessness are people, just like you and me. It is easy to lose sight of that when bombarded by the media focusing on the issues of poverty, addiction, lack of services, etc. Volunteering at these events reminds us of the humanity at centre of it all and it is compassion and humanity that will guide us to making a difference.
"The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick and the needy...." - Hubert Humphrey
Deepest thanks to those that helped make this event happen. The volunteer team staffed the event and also helped set up/take down and brought clothing and other needed items.
Volunteers: Amy, Cassidy and Chris Lane, Angie Bunnell, Carly and Jason Dore, Cathy Potosky, Darlene and John Gamble, Deanna Hutchison, Jo-Ann and Len Foss, Mary-Ann Andrew, Mell Andrew, Tricia Rickards, Michelle Carduner, Kim Loof, Pat Chadwick.