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For all media inquiries, please contact Jeremy Hunka, Senior Public Relations Specialist, at 604 996 1417 or [email protected].

UGM partners with The 700 Club to serve 500 meals in New Westminster as part of the 18th annual summer BBQ

Vancouver, BC—On Friday, August 14th, UGM New Westminster will host their 18th annual community BBQ at Queens Park, where those attending will receive not only food, but also a chance to make a change. With the support of sponsor, The 700 Club Canada, UGM is preparing to serve 500 meals.

For Marion, 71, UGM New Westminster has been a long time place full of support and friendly faces. She is a regular of the centre, first frequenting the old location on Blackie Street, until the current location at 658 Clarkson Street opened in 1991. Although the location has changed, Marion affirms that the hearts of the people “have stayed the same.”

“I was shy and nervous my first visit,” recalls Marion, whose demeanor changed after being greeted with a meal and welcoming staff. She soon found herself returning, being comforted by the “beautiful people” who worked at the centre, and assisted by the services available.

The first visit to a new environment can be awkward, and many guests are apprehensive the first time they visit the resource centre. Events like UGM New Westminster’s Summer BBQ make that initial connection easier, allowing those struggling with homelessness, poverty and addiction to meet and connect with staff over a good meal or game of Frisbee, or simply allow them to spend the afternoon in a relaxed and safe environment.

“The summer BBQ offers guests the opportunity to experience healthy relationships and acceptance in this community,” says Vallen Mah, Supervisor of UGM New Westminster.  “Guests know they are loved, respected, cared for and many access UGM not just because they live in poverty or hunger, but because they understand that we value each person who walks through our door.”

Outreach staff are available daily to meet new community members, or connect visitors to services through referrals and resources.

“By first meeting their physical need, we can share hope, with an opportunity for a new life and direction, through any one of our programs.”

Marion agrees that events like the Summer BBQ make a unique impact on those who attend.

“It shows that the staff here care about you,” she says.

Where           Queen’s Park, 1st St. and 3rd Ave, New Westminster

When             Friday, August 14th, 2015 @ 12:00pm

The Meal      500 burgers

500 smokies

125 lbs of coleslaw

125 lbs of potato salad

500 cans of pop

500 freezies

Birthday Cake celebrating UGM’s 75th Anniversary

Sponsor        The 700 Club

http://www.700club.ca/index.php/en/about-us

Media Contact:

Natalie McNeill

Public Relations Coordinator

Tel: (604) 215-5445 ext. 346

Cell: (778) 887-1176

E-mail: [email protected]

UGM New West Contact:

Vallen Mah

Supervisor, UGM New Westminster

Tel: (604) 525-8989

E-mail: [email protected]

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 counseling, 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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