Ms. Sandra Gin
On October 30th, eight members of the St. George’s Global Perspectives and Community Service Club’s (GPACs) Local Issues Committee, along with teacher-advisor Ms. Sandra Gin, embarked on a journey to the Downtown Eastside. The boys–all in grades 10-12– volunteered to serve lunch to the less fortunate at the Harbour Light Shelter, a ministry of the Vancouver Salvation Army. The Harbor Light shelter is an all-male facility where recovering drug addicts and homeless men undergo rehabilitation and where those who are less fortunate come for help, advice, and food.
The Harbour Light shelter is located on East Cordova Street, near Chinatown. While there, the GPACs students helped serve and deliver lunch, a delicious mix of ravioli with sauce, coleslaw salad, and yogurt. Over the course of two hours of hard work, the students successfully and efficiently served over 400 lunches. They served individuals ranging from recovering addicts to new immigrants. Afterwards, the students got a unique opportunity to hear two recovering addicts’ stories. These testimonies outlined their previous lifestyle decisions as well as their willpower that allowed them to seek help at Harbour Light. As part of their recovery program, these men work in the Feeding Line as volunteers, and offer to share their stories with visiting school groups.
“It was not just our volunteering in the soup kitchen that benefited us,” said Brian Tsang, Grade 12 and Co-Chair of the Local Issues Committee. “It was also the powerful life experiences shared by the people there that truly made this experience worthwhile.”
The goal of the field trip was to let the students be exposed to the lives of the people in the Downtown Eastside and also to help out the less fortunate. After the field trip the students felt deeply moved by the surprising kindness of the people that they had served. As the students exit the facility, a wholehearted “Thank-You!” from the Harbour Light crowd really brightened up their day. Truly this feeding line is a soup kitchen for the soul.