Volunteers give back year-round at Our Place in Victoria

Public donations increase in December, but are needed all year long

From the latke lunches and dreidel competitions sponsored by a local synagogue, to the 850 personalized “angel gifts” donated by local churches, schools, businesses and community groups, the season of giving is alive at Our Place.

Donations are flowing in the month of December, says community relations co-ordinator Tracy Campbell. There are meals booked for the whole next month, she says, that will help the poor, homeless and other vulnerable people in Victoria.

“So many people want to give of themselves during the holiday season,” she says. “All of us … feel sentimental. It brings back memories.”

But the season of giving never really stops for many volunteers in downtown Victoria. Some 200 regular monthly volunteers cut vegetables, sort through donations, clean showers, hand out food and donate time and skill sets at Our Place.

Pixie MacCallum, Pat Larre and Steve Dull, who come from distinctly different backgrounds, chop vegetables and serve lunch every Friday. For them, volunteering is part of their belief systems and ethics.

“As far as I’m concerned, the most important thing in life is to be able to serve others,” says MacCallum, who is Baha’i.

Larre, a Christian, says about helping others, that “if you want to follow Jesus’ path, that’s part of what you do.”

Steve Dull, a humanist and Marxist, says for him, it’s not so much about the feeling of giving back, but that he recognizes a need and has the time to help.

Lorreen Valan is someone who utilizes these services, but also provides them, serving meals and setting tables.

“I just felt like helping people out, it makes me feel good,” she says.

Our Place is always looking for new volunteers to help out with its various services for the street community and meal provision for those in need. If you’d like to be a part of their crew, stop by 919 Pandora Ave., email volunteermgr@ourplacesociety.com or visit ourplacesociety.com and find opportunities under the Get Involved heading.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

 

Pixie MacCallium says helping other people is the most important part thing in life. She cuts vegetables and serves lunch at Our Place every Friday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Just Posted

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Active investigation into reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

An Oct. 5 allegation is being investigated by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Federal environment minister faces protesters in B.C.

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record during a funding announcement in Victoria

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read