By Maureen Mackell
Published: June 8, 2012
At Squamish Helping Hands, there is some relief in the air.
As the spring rolls into summer we battle less with the wet and cold, and with our doors and windows wide open our little fire hall doesn’t seem quite so small, our clients not so cooped up, and so life is good.
We’ve been privileged to provide food and shelter to our at-risk and homeless community for another year.
Our 15 bed mat program has kept many from sleeping in the streets or in the woods – a safe refuge from the weather and loneliness. This year we saw approximately 3500 stays.
We rescued approximately 109,500 lbs of food from the landfill – an average of 300 lbs a day. From there 150lbs of rescued groceries were delivered back into the community – to families, seniors, people with disabilities, and community groups through our food distribution program.
Our Drop-In Centre is a gateway to health and well-being for those who might not otherwise access Public Health and Mental Health & Addictions. Our drop-in centre served approximately 34,000 healthy homemade meals as well as 4,400 to go meals, and a staggering 12,660 lunches for school aged children through our new Brown Bag Lunch Program.
Life is good when we live in a community where everyone matters, where giving is a priority, making it possible to provide food and shelter to those in need.
And so it is time to celebrate another year of moving forward, of connecting people to services & housing, of providing shelter and food to those in our community who are most vulnerable. And as we look back on the year we are grateful for the many that have come to and through our doors to champion our cause with us – volunteers, contributors, donors, and our funders.
Without them we would be lost.
Many thanks go out to our extraordinary volunteers who give of their time and energy for no other reason than ‘just because…’ with no thought for what they will get in return.
Thanks also to our numerous donors, including – Nesters, Save-On-Foods, Starbucks and so many more, and to our funders – BC Housing, Squamish Savings, Vancity Community Foundation, and Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, and many more.
All these champions, named and unnamed, are at the heart of who we are as an organization and without them we would not be able to provide our programs and services.
I also want to invite you for our AGM. Please join me, our board of directors and staff on June 18 for our Annual General Meeting which will take place at the Howe Sound Women’s Centre (38021 Third Ave) at 7:00 p.m.
All are welcome as we look back on a very rewarding year. We invite you to take this opportunity to renew your membership or become a first time member.
(Maureen Mackell is the executive director of Squamish Helping Hands Society)