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Union Gospel Mission to serve over 3,000 meals this Thanksgiving Monday, kicking off Homelessness Action Week

Vancouver BC—For many, Thanksgiving dinner is a time to gather at home with family and give thanks for the blessings in their lives, but for those in our community without a home or struggling in extreme poverty, this holiday can be a difficult reminder of deeply unmet needs—physically, socially and emotionally. Union Gospel Mission’s annual Thanksgiving dinner is a time for those who may be going through dark days to be served a warm meal with all the fixings and experience the comforts of home and family. Despite their lack, many people in the DTES community are extremely thankful people.

“As I contemplate Thanksgiving and our special meal on that day, the words home and family come to mind,” says UGM’s Senior Chaplain Bruce Curtiss. “For many individuals that we serve at UGM daily, housed or homeless, UGM is a home. It’s a place of belonging and safety, serenity, compassion and love. For these people UGM also represents family, a place where they are accepted and supported, where they are important and loved unconditionally regardless of situation or circumstance.”

WHAT

Event #1: Monday, October 13 – All-day Thanksgiving dinner at UGM

The Union Gospel Mission dining room will be a flood of activity on Thanksgiving Monday, October 13, as those who are struggling to make ends meet will be treated to a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. UGM expects to serve over 3,000 meals throughout the lower mainland—mainly in Vancouver but also in New Westminster.

WHEN:

  • Monday, October 13th (Thanksgiving Day)
  • From 10:30am to 4:30pm, doors open at 10:00am
  • Media are welcome to set up earlier, please connect with Keela if setting up before 9:30am.

WHERE:

  • Main location: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver (@ Princess Street)

 

OTHER LOCATIONS:

  • UGM Women’s and Families Centre: 616 East Cordova
  • UGM New Westminster: 658 Clarkson Street (doors open at noon)

 

THE MENU:

  • 800 lbs of turkey (the equivalent of 130 turkeys)
  • 800 lbs of mashed potatoes
  • 700 lbs of vegetables
  • 800 lbs of stuffing
  • 300 litres of gravy
  • 260 litres of cranberry sauce
  • 4,500 dinner rolls (375 dozen)
  • 800 pumpkin pies
  • 400 litres of ice cream

 

WHY:

UGM Senior Chaplain Bruce Curtiss explains that the meal is about more than just providing physical sustenance: “For many of our guests, this is a special time to celebrate and give thanks for what they do have, which is often very little. Over and over, we’ve seen Thanksgiving leading to hope, and hope inspiring courage, and courage – with friends to stand alongside – leading to transformed lives. But it all starts with this Thanksgiving meal, where we’re able to start fostering new relationships which can lead to changed lives through this very special day.

 

EVENT #2: Wednesday, October 15 – Homelessness Action Week event at SFU Woodward’s

As part of the eighth annual Homelessness Action Week (HAW) in Metro Vancouver, UGM invites you to the advanced screening of UGM’s first-ever documentary, “Reflected Light: Exploring Photo 101 on the Downtown Eastside”.  The film investigates the beauty, photography and community in our neighbourhood, and a special Q&A with the participants will follow the screening. A pop-up market featuring local handmade goods from local artists will be available in the lobby. All ushers, greeters and ticket takers are community members employed through a special HAW grant from the City of Vancouver.

 

CONTACT:

Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, and children for over 70 years. Through its 7 locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counselling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To find out more, visit www.ugm.ca.

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