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

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

OUR VIEW: Search and rescue organization needs to be examined

No organization should be immune to scrutiny

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

Emerging Sooke filmmaker takes spotlight with special award

Mary Galloway creates her own opportunities

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read