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

Our Place

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Coun. Tara Ney rakes leaves behind Oak Bay municipal hall. Ney’s motion asking staff to do a report on alternative options to the ongoing use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay a step closer to banning gas leaf blowers

Council leans toward a study on alternatives

Victoria police are warning the public of fraudsters impersonating Service Canada and VicPD in an attempt to have victims transfer money to bitcoins. (Unsplash photo)
Police issue warning after Victoria man scammed out of $6,000

Victim received calls from people impersonating Service Canada, VicPD

The Capital Regional District is considering adding another dollar a year to the parkland acquisition fund fee for homeowners. (Black Press Media file photo)
One dollar or two? Greater Victoria parks acquisition fee hike spurs debate

$2 a year too steep, CRD committee recommends $1 a year increase per household

Maureen Cue models maybe the most obvious pandemic Halloween costume this year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Pandemic impacts trends in Halloween looks, says costume shop owner

Maureen Cue sees shift in costume rentals due to the pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Most Read