Ryan Thirlwall (right), one of the organizers of the Flash Feeding Frenzy in Centennial Square on Sunday evening, looks for someone to offer a jacket to. Thirlwall co-founded the Facebook group from which volunteers came to help at the charitable event, which saw food and clothing distributed to members of Victoria’s street community. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Facebook group members pay it forward to Victoria’s homeless community

Volunteers distribute food, clothing to street community

A group of people who mostly knew each other only from a Facebook group gathered in Centennial Square on Sunday evening before a planned trip around the downtown to hand out food, warm clothing and hygiene products to homeless individuals.

Taking this charitable show on the road was easier said than done, however, as the group found themselves for the first while handing out items where they stood, with a line of people trooping through the square to take advantage of the generosity of others.

Greater Victoria resident Jenny Hindley organized Sunday’s Flash Feeding Frenzy via the fledgling Facebook community Ballin Pics and Clicks, with the help of that group’s co-founder Ryan Thirlwall of Highlands.

“Instead of us just being on Facebook I wanted to bring us out into the community,” Hindley said. The support from various businesses and individuals for the group’s first event has been tremendous, she noted, with donations of shoes, used warm clothing and numerous food items.

One volunteer even baked potatoes, complete with butter and utensils. “People shouldn’t have to eat them with their hands,” she said, smiling.

Thirlwall, who created the Facebook group just a few short months ago with Roland Ruhl-Larocque, Assiniboine, Alta., greeted the visitors with kindness and enthusiasm. A similar event was held in Edmonton earlier Sunday and resulted in large numbers of people treated to warm clothing and nutritious food, Thirwall said.

Ballin Pics and Clicks, given a “youthful, catchy name” to appeal to more young people, he said, aims to promote positive living through the posting of uplifting comments and photos. As of Monday nearly 14,000 people had joined the online group.

“We try to demonstrate what we practice in our own online community and pay it forward and love it forward in our real, offline communities,” said Thirwall, a former national top 20 under 20 recipient for leadership achievement and active anti-bullying advocate and fundraiser. “As we like to say, it costs zero dollars to be a decent human being.”

He and Hindley expect more events like the Feeding Frenzy to be popping up to benefit the downtown street community as the weather grows colder.

Find the online group by searching for Ballin Pics and Clicks on Facebook.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Volunteers gather at the Flash Feeding Frenzy in Centennial Square on Sunday evening. The charitable event, organized by members of an online Facebook group, saw food and clothing distributed to members of Victoria’s street community. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Just Posted

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

The 38th annual New Year Classic saw 172 players in 226 matches

New lights in Oak Bay tennis bubble illuminate local talent

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read