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

Union Gospel Mission to serve 3,000 Thanksgiving Meals

Vancouver, B.C. — Tim K. didn’t always feel thankful on Thanksgiving. Though the 52-year-old mortgage broker appeared to be living the ‘Canadian Dream’, he was on a path to desperation, homelessness and despair.

“Thanksgiving was tough because there was not much gratitude for my life”, says Tim. “I can’t say it was a happy time, it emphasized everything that was wrong in my life.”

Outwardly, Tim was the epitome of success. Surrounded by a loving family, he developed a successful financial career and built his own thriving business in Abbotsford. But the long hours and pressure of work eventually took their toll, and Tim turned to alcohol to cope. Within five years he'd lost everything and wound up homeless in English Bay, where he slept on the beach for two weeks.

“I was living with the shirt on my back and a duffle bag,” he says. “My intention was to come to Vancouver and either kill myself or drink myself to death – I called it my ‘death under instalment plan’.”

Feeling desperate, Tim began walking aimlessly one evening only to find himself – by chance or providence ­­– on the corner of East Hastings looking up at Union Gospel Mission’s illuminated sign. Tim sought shelter at UGM that first night and learned of UGM’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program. Now more than two years sober and employed on UGM’s maintenance team, Tim makes sure the UGM sign is always illuminated, knowing it might save someone else's life too. He’ll also help serve more than 3,000 meals when UGM hosts its Thanksgiving Meal on Monday, October 9th.

“I want to reach people this Thanksgiving who may be professionals, but are afraid to ask for help and show them they’re not alone,” he says. “I didn't come from the 'stereotypical' family. I had a great childhood, had my own company. In my own addiction I didn’t know who to turn to, or what to turn to, I had lost all hope.”

“With homelessness at a record high in Metro Vancouver our work is more important than ever,” says UGM President Bill Mollard. “Thousands of people will enter our doors this Thanksgiving who – like Tim – can turn their lives around and rediscover hope.”

EVENT DETAILS

Date:
Monday, October 9th, 2017
Time:
Meals served 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Where:
Main location: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver (@ Princess Avenue)
Secondary locations: Women and Families Centre: 616 East Cordova;
UGM New Westminster: 658 Clarkson Street (doors open at noon)

Note: Volunteers will be carving turkey in preparation on Saturday, October 7th, from 9am-11am. Media are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Jeremy Hunka if you’d like to attend.

THE MEAL

  • 2200 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
  • 3900 dinner rolls (375 dozen)
  • 600 pumpkin pies
  • 400 litres of ice cream
  • 3500 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Chocolates

CONTACT

Jeremy Hunka
Senior PR Specialist, Union Gospel Mission
Cell: (604) 996-1417
[email protected]

ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION

Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 75 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more 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 lives and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.

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