Sweetpal Chauhan, operator of several Shell Gas stations in Greater Victoria, is donating 130 blankets and a full lunch to Our Place to help the homeless in a time of extreme struggle. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Greater Victoria business owner pays for lunches, blankets at Our Place in dire times

Shell operator Sweetpal Chauhan hopes to inspire others to help amidst COVID-19 worries

A local business owner wants to inspire others to give back to the community in a time of need.

Sweetpal Chauhan is the operator of seven Shell gas stations across Victoria, as well as an owner of several other businesses in the region. He decided that in a time of panic due to COVID-19 it’s best to give back – which is why he is paying for more than 400 packed lunches and 130 blankets for Victoria’s Our Place Society.

“This is my home, I’ve been here 13 years, this is my family and we wanted to contribute back,” Chauhan said. “We’ve done this at Our Place for along time, but due to recent circumstances we had to find a novel way to give back.”

Chauhan also supplies funds for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner at Our Place.

ALSO READ: More than 600 people enjoy Thanksgiving lunch at Victoria’s Our Place

As of March 17 Our Place had to close down much of its facilities, including seasonal shelters drop-in space, computer lab, courtyard, hygiene, and clothing area. It will, however, continue to provide three meals per day in the form of packed lunches.

Chauhan had initially wanted to see if staff could volunteer to help pack the lunches, but to promote social distancing instead is offering a financial contribution to so that Our Place staff will have the resources they need.

“It’s usually around 400 lunches, but if it goes up to 600 or 700 it doesn’t matter, I’ll cover what they need,” he said.

Due to the displacement of so many people as a result of the closure of seasonal shelters – and limiting shelter capacity to meet social distancing requirements – Chauhan also purchased blankets for people to use.

“I know people are in isolation, people have to move places so having those blankets is a nice gesture,” he said.

ALSO READ: Shed handshakes for smiles and foot taps to avoid COVID-19 risk: doctor

Our Place is grateful for the continued support of Chauhan and people like him.

“The response of community members like Sweetpal Chauhan has been so heartwarming to us in this challenging time. It really is incredible how Victorians rally together in time of need, and that they see people from all walks of life as part of their community,” said Grant McKenzie, director of communications at Our Place. “Our Place couldn’t serve this vulnerable population without the support of our wonderful and caring neighbour.”

Chauhan hopes that his actions will inspire other business owners to take similar steps to help their communities.

“I’m small, I’m just an operator,” he said. “I want to inspire bigger businesses here that this is the time, let’s step up and let’s work together.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Coronaviruslocal businessOur Place

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

Sooke group providing assistance to seniors in dire need of volunteers

Loan Cupboard now in its 50th year of operation

Sooke seeks feedback on new building regulation bylaw

In addition to the online survey, a virtual online meeting takes place Oct. 22

Blackberry festival moves forward with drive-thru in Metchosin

Event takes place on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read