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

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

Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

Thief steals donation box, tip jar from Oak Bay businesses

Oak Bay Police Department looking for suspect

George Jay parents tired of dog poop left on school’s fields

Parents advocate for stronger fines, more signage in the neighbourhood

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

The rock legend has partnered with Chuck Varabioff to run Titans of Rock in Grand Forks

Most Read