Today we met with the staff of Our Place Society and handed over the cheque for $4000, raised by YOU the wonderful people of Victoria and Victoria Buzz fans. We want to thank the community for being behind us, helping us along the way, and for all the kind words that we have received.
Our Place Director of Communications, Grant McKenzie, “It’s an exciting donation, especially as it comes from someone who obviously knows everything that Our Place does and what it means to the community. And for this gentleman to want to help as many people as possible, by donating the money he could have used, to Our Place, I think that’s the biggest thing. We see about 600 to 800 people a day and serve up to 2000 meals a day, so this money will go a long way to helping so many.”
Ken, Our Place visitor, “That’s a wonderful thing that he and everybody did. It’s pretty good that there are people out there that want to give in that way. It sure will help out. This place does quite a bit, but you don’t see the work that they do, because it goes on behind the scenes.”
It was an honour to be a part of this. Our next step will be to meet with the homeless man and we have steps in place regarding how we will do that. We plan to get him a pay-as-you-go cellphone so we, as well as potential employers, can reach him. We have some money tucked away for him for any future use that will be easily accessible to him and one other family member.
Inspired by the donation, local philanthropist Andrew Beckerman contributed $5000 today. The total now given is at $9000 with the two cheques combined. We are calling out to other companies to match that donation.
“I was moved by this man’s honesty and generosity,” said Beckerman. “Living on the street, he understands how important Our Place is to the community, and I challenge other business owners and individuals to support this fantastic organization with a donation. When you witness the care and compassion that Our Place delivers on a daily basis, you can’t help but want to be a part of it.”
“We are thrilled by the donations,” says Don Evans, executive director of Our Place. “Not only does it reinforce how vital Our Place is to this vulnerable population, but the money is arriving at a very important time for us. Donations tend to slow down in the summer, but the need doesn’t. This generosity from these two disparate individuals not only helps fund our summer services, but it also helps us prepare for evening openings as we move into winter.”
This story reached into the wider world and has really put Victoria on the map. We have this hidden hero in Langford, as well as a tremendous community. It has also highlighted that we need to do away with stereotypes about homeless people. Never judge a book by its cover.