This year’s #GivingTuesday Shelter Gala was a special one to say the least.

We are thrilled to share that we’ve received over $55,000 in donations for our GivingTuesday Shelter Gala!

THANK YOU to everybody who chipped in, shared our social media posts, blogs, and donation links.

All of your donations to our GivingTuesday Shelter Gala enable us to continue to provide essential services that help community members survive, stay connected, and heal.

It was an honour to host our GivingTuesday Shelter Gala for the third year in a row. We served our residents dinner in our brand-new purpose-built shelter, and they enjoyed a special evening of entertainment, gifts, and a five-star meal.

We also tried something new: for the first time, we brought gourmet meals to the streets of the Downtown Eastside, serving over 200 meals right from our food truck.

This was the perfect kick-off to the Christmas season and we’re feeling so grateful.

*We chose not to photograph our community members in order to respect their privacy and autonomy, in keeping with ethical practices of community engagement in the Downtown Eastside.

We want to give our deepest thanks to our Shelter Gala Partners: Odlum Brown and Goldbeck Recruiting. Thank you for supporting our mission and vision!

We also want to thank Chef Billy Nguyen, who was joined by Sous Chef Karima Chellouf, for preparing and cooking a delicious three-course meal for our shelter residents, and an incredible lunch for the DTES community.

At lunchtime, Chef Billy and Chef Karima Chellouf joined our kitchen staff to serve meals out of our food truck. Over 200 warm plates of braised beef and kimchi fried rice were served on a snowy afternoon to those in the neighbourhood who needed a meal.

Later in the evening, 50 shelter residents were treated to an exquisite three-course meal, which included a salad, braised beef with kimchi fried rice and stir fry. The dessert was a delicious apple and mixed berry crumble. Thank you to Sysco and Two Rivers Meats for donating the ingredients needed to make these meals.

Residents were seated and served by staff, which is different from the usual experience of standing in a meal line. The food was so good that many residents got seconds! They sat at beautifully decorated tables featuring the names of businesses and organizations who sponsored a table. We want to give a special thanks to our Evening Sponsor Richmond Steel Recycling, and our table sponsors Robert Allan Ltd. And Gilmore Park United Church Board.

The room was filled with laughter and lively conversations between residents, and, of course, music (classic rock—back by popular demand!).

Each resident also received a gift bag at the end filled with treats, candy, comfort items they wouldn’t usually have access to like chapstick (important in these cold months!), a handwritten card, and pet toys for residents with furry friends. Thank you to our gift sponsors David Nairne + Associates, Elaine Perry, and an anonymous donor.

It was fantastic to see people enjoying the festivities and introducing themselves to each other over swag bags and gourmet food, in a warm and safe place while there was a blizzard outside.

Overall, it was a great success and truly warmed our hearts—just in time for winter.

If you haven’t given to our Shelter Gala but still want to support our work, you can give here. All donations will be matched up to $219,000 until December 31!

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