PHOTOS: Victoria businessman donates 100 jackets, 100 sleeping bags to Our Place

Sweetpal Chauhan, operator of several Shell Gas stations in Greater Victoria, donated 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags to Our Place on Friday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Sweetpal Chauhan, operator of several Shell Gas stations in Greater Victoria, donated 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags to Our Place on Friday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Sweetpal Chauhan and Steven Seltzer with Our Place stand amongst the 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags now going to those living on Victoria’s streets. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Sweetpal Chauhan and Steven Seltzer with Our Place stand amongst the 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags now going to those living on Victoria’s streets. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Sweetpal Chauhan and Steven Seltzer with Our Place stand amongst the 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags now going to those living on Victoria’s streets. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Sweetpal Chauhan and Steven Seltzer with Our Place stand amongst the 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags now going to those living on Victoria’s streets. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

A local businessman is spreading some holiday cheer to those accessing services at Our Place Society.

Sweetpal Chauhan is the operator of seven Shell gas stations across Victoria, as well as an owner of several other businesses in the region. As a way to give back to the community and to those he feels are his “extended family,” Chauhan is donating 100 brand new jackets and 100 brand new sleeping bags to Our Place.

“If I look back, I came from India 13 years ago and started with $100 in my wallet and have gone up the ladder,” he said. “I’ve seen poverty and challenges … if my [mother] hadn’t given me the correct education I might be cleaning dishes somewhere in India.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s Our Place Society brings back annual beauty day for women in need

According to Grant McKenzie, director of communications for Our Place, the lack of day shelter has been a big concern as of late due to the tightening COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re really seeing people who are being forced to spend more time outdoors than normal,” he said, adding that normally Our Place can shelter hold up to 200 people inside during normal times but now only about 50 people can be inside at once. “Being able to give people a warm, dry jacket and then giving them a clean, warm sleeping bag can really mean the difference between life and death for so many people.”

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

Chauhan feels a moral obligation.

“The business community, the people like us who have opportunity in this challenging time – let’s work together and do something better for the people in need. Let’s not isolate them and have anger towards them, those are the people who are already suffering so much. This is the time to show that love and [do] whatever we can contribute back to those people,” he said.

Currently, Our Place is in need of men’s clothing donations, along with socks and underwear but would prefer monetary donations.

“We can stretch $1 like nobody else,” said McKenzie.

Learn more about Our Place, or donate online at ourplacesociety.com.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Our Place

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

Just Posted

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Google/Screencap)
BC Coroners Service investigating death at a North Saanich marina

Death said to have happened late Monday night

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Most Read