The Surrey Urban Mission launched its inaugural “Home Harvest Fall Fundraiser” on Sept. 18, at the Surrey City Hall, Civic Plaza.
The event raised funds to provide food security, and resources to connect people to housing and health services.
Last year, the Surrey Urban Mission provided in excess of 120,000 meals to those living in poverty in the North Surrey area.
“Everyone getting together to look at an agency that everyday transforms lives is really critical and really special to who we are as a community,” says Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
To everyone’s surprise, it was announced at the end of the fundraiser that many of those volunteering at the event were in fact homeless.
Executive Director at the Surrey Urban Mission Jonquil Hallgate says, “we live in a really wealthy country and in a wealthy community, and everybody here needs to have a home.”
She says the government needs to “give us a national affordable housing strategy and start building housing [so people] … can afford to live in dignity.”
Surrey City Councillor and Chair of Surrey’s Homelessness & Housing Society Judy Villeneuve, is a supporter of the Surrey Urban Mission.
“We want to support any person or organization that’s going to help support other people in our community.” Villeneuve also explains, “the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society in this city gave nine million dollars to an affordable housing reserve fund … to fund programs that help our most vulnerable citizens.”
The event was filled with fun activities including live music, an exotic auction and a celebrity chef cook-off judged by Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, CEO Sean Hodgins from Century Group, President Marilyn Pearson from Cuisine and Company and Canada’s Top Chef winner of 2015, David Jorge.
Funds raised will go towards SUMS to assist its work in the Surrey community.
The total amount raised at the event will be announced the weekend following the fundraiser.