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SurreyCares Community Foundation Part of New Emergency Community Support Fund

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$900,000 available in Surrey for charities supporting COVID-19 response

SurreyCares Community Foundation announced it will be providing over $900,000 to support local charities responding to COVID-19 as part of a partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, funded through the Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).

This national effort aims to support vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. SurreyCares is one of more than 100 local community foundations across Canada taking part.

“This is a vital step in the fight against COVID-19,” says John Lawson, Chair of SurreyCares. “It’s a difficult time for everyone, and we know that local charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to support those who are already marginalized in our community. This additional funding is a much-needed boost to their efforts. We’re looking forward to flowing funds quickly to ensure no one in our community is left behind.”

The Emergency Community Support Fund was initially announced on April 21, 2020, by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a series of emergency response measures by the Government of Canada.

“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you in your time of need. But the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations. With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians.” explained The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Starting on May 19, SurreyCares Community Foundation will begin accepting applications for funding from qualified local charities, not-for-profits and community organizations. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including staffing, resources, or purchasing supplies. Funding will be issued on an ongoing basis through July 2020. Charities and community organizations are invited to visit the foundation website for eligibility and application details.

“At Community Foundations of Canada, our purpose to ‘relentlessly pursue a future where everyone belongs’ has never felt more important than it does right now,” said Andrea Dicks, Community Foundations of Canada President. “We’re grateful for the leadership of local community foundations like SurreyCares who have been at the forefront of local response efforts since the pandemic was declared.

Thanks to the Government of Canada’s contribution, our network will be able to unlock even more local impact for organizations serving vulnerable groups, helping us set the stage for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.”

SurreyCares’ vision for Surrey is a giving, connected community. SurreyCares’ mission is to inspire donors, grow endowments and invest in people.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Sikh based groups form Virtual Vaisakhi to raise funds and give back during COVID-19 pandemic/Sikh Heritage Month

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As the world is faced with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a collective of local Sikh based community organizations have come together to celebrate Sikh Heritage Month and Vaisakhi by giving back.

The collective, through Virtual Vaisakhi (fundraising efforts) and invoking the Spirit of Vaisakhi (volunteer initiatives) are raising funds and working with existing community outreach and non-profits within British Columbia to help ease the related economic hardships faced by the communities in which we live and work.

“Every year there are many Vaisakhi Nagar Kiran events that bring thousands of people together to collectively celebrate Sikhi,” noted Jessie Kaur Lehail of Kaur Project/Virtual Vaisakhi. This year, we are directly asking and inspiring Sikhs and non-Sikhs to collectively open their wallets and hearts to help invoke the Spirit of Vaiskahi to address the most pressing and emerging needs with organizations working with local food banks, seniors outreach, marginalized communities and domestic support services. Let’s celebrate Vaisakhi by helping others. We’re all in this together and 100% of proceeds will go directly to community initiatives.”

Currently the collective includes Kaur Project, One Voice Canada, SAF, Khalsa Aid, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, SAMHAA, SikhRi, Future is Partnership, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, SEYVA, S.A.L.M.O.N Project and many others. Guided by the Sikhi based value of Sarbat Da Bhala (service to all) while practicing Charhdi Kala (expansive resilience) and Joash (vibrant courage) and a spirit of giving, Virtual Vaisakhi is asking EVERYONE to invoke the Spirit of Vaisakhi to raise financial support.

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, the Virtual Vaisakhi campaign and Spirit of Vaisakhi operations will continue nimbly align philanthropic resources based on emerging needs, prioritizing food, medical and emergency assistance for seniors, marginalized and domestic support services. As needs are communicated, it will be of utmost importance for Virtual Vaisakhi/Spirit of Vaisakhi to provide funding to these organizations rapidly.

Virtual Vaisakhi Donate Online

We’re tapping into the strength of collective giving to alleviate the public health and economic consequences of the coronavirus in British Columbia. Virtual Vaisakhi has committed to contributing 100% of money raised to community initiatives. To donate, visit the Virtual Vaisakhi’s website www.virtualvaisakhi.com

Spirit of Vaisakhi Operations

With a little less than one week in combining efforts, the following initiatives are taking place:

  • Over 1500 daily meals are being served
  • 100+ grocery/prescription deliveries
  • Glove and mask coordination/delivery
  • Health care snack/meal delivery

To volunteer or request help visit www.virtualvaisakhi.com

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Happy Singh Eats & Tandoori Flame, Partner to Offer FREE Meals to Frontline Workers and Those in Need

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After spending just over a week and a half making deliveries of pre-packaged meals to frontline workers at Delta, Surrey Memorial and Vancouver General Hospitals, the team at Happy Singh Eats (with support from Tandoori Flame) realized that the community’s need is much greater than they realized. “We started at Delta Hospital, then to Surrey Memorial. After that the Surrey ER and Imaging Centre, VGH ER and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre all reached out looking for similar assistance.

We realized that the need stretched much greater than what we originally thought,” shared Shraey Gulati, Managing Director, Tandoori Flame Restaurants. “We have been blessed to be able to help others, and that itself is another blessing” As a team they have happily obliged to fulfill these requests and continue to do deliveries of hundreds of meals daily to all of these locations for the on-staff frontline workers, however they wanted to consider how they could do more. From that evolved Happy Singh’s Seva Kitchen.

As a subsidiary of Tandoori Flame Restaurants and given that they are not officially open yet, Happy Singh Eats is working with the kitchen team over at Tandoori Flame Delta, just across the road from them, to execute this initiative. Seva is a sanskrit word that means selfless service and is a prominent value within South Asian culture. Keeping that in mind, the answer seemed obvious. Gulati went on to explain that the sentiment of Seva is particularly important for their family ethos. “Our father always taught us to be the giver, whenever and wherever possible.”

Gulati’s father, Galendra Gulati recently returned to Canada from India and his first question when he heard about our hospital deliveries while in self-quarantine was, ‘What about those who are not at the hospital? What about those who have lost their jobs? What are we doing for them?’ He in turn got these thoughts from his father (Shraey’s grandfather), who used to say ‘You have what you have to pass it forward. Help those in need, spread love and kindness. We are JUST a medium.’”

Starting today, Happy Singh’s Seva Kitchen will operate from the take-out window located at Tandoori Flame’s Delta Location (11970 88 Ave, Delta, BC V4C 3C8). Any frontline workers can receive a free meal from their take-out window. They request that if you are in plain clothes that you provide an ID and if you are in uniform, then that’s easy.

They are also offering meals to those who simply cannot afford it right now. COVID19 is impacting our community in so many ways including lost jobs, reduced income, the inability to get groceries and more. If you are in need, we want to help. Free meals will be provided daily between 3pm and 7pm time on a first come, first served basis until meals run out. They do however hope to have enough to go through the entire day.

If however, you are unable to visit within that time frame, you are welcome to come anytime within the take-our hours of noon – 9pm. “We are starting with 3-7pm as we simply do not know what the demand will be like, but we won’t refuse anyone, as long as we have the resources to serve them,” shared Gulati.

When asked how long this program will run, Gulati said, “We don’t know the answer to that yet. We are going to continue for as long as we can and intend to keep our patrons updated via our website.” He also shared that those interested in supporting the initiative can donate meals to the program through their online takeout form at bit.ly/HappySinghDonate.

ABOUT HAPPY SINGH EATS | Happy Singh Eats, the newest restaurant endeavour by Tandoori Flame Restaurants, is slated to open in Summer 2020 with 160 seats inside and 72 outside on a covered patio. Akin to a South Asian version of fast casual dining, it is modelled after popular roadside cafés found all over India providing ready to eat snacks. The new cafe style restaurant will offer dine-in and take-out options with live cooking and over 10 food stations where guests can see popular street style snacks being prepared right in front of them. The menu will include items such as: kathi rolls, a chaat station, a Jr. Happy Singh box meal for kids; thali style meals, Paranthas, a samosa station, a dosa station, traditional curries, pizzas, sandwiches, and more. www.happysingheats.com

ABOUT TANDOORI FLAME | Established in 2009, Tandoori Flame is the largest grand Indian buffet and restaurant in North America. With up to 150 food options and live interactive food stations, the restaurant group now has three locations in Canada – Mississauga, Brampton (Toronto) and Surrey/Delta (British Columbia). www.tandooriflame.com

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Local One Billion Rising Events Create 1300 Care Packages for Women and Children

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To mark 2020’s, Worldwide One Billion Rising* campaign, the biggest mass action to end violence against women, social justice and faith based organizations came together to hold events in Vancouver and Surrey in February 2020. The main focus was to bring people together to create over 1300 care packages filled with personal hygiene necessities to help women and children across the Lower Mainland. Both gatherings brought an intersection of people and faiths interested in giving back and delving in deeper conversations to enrich their communities.

Elder Gertie Pierre, from the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society welcomed event participants with opening remarks and offered the sacred tradition of cedar brushing, that helped clear negative energy.

Both events had brief interactive question rounds where partnering organizations were highlighted, but also participants were encouraged to exchange ideas with others. At each event, Chas Coultee from the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society educated participants about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. Both the cities of Vancouver and Surrey honoured the events with the reading of official proclamations declaring February 1-7th UN World International Harmony Week, and the assembly of more than 1,300 hygiene packages.

*Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. For more information on Background on One Billion Rising:

https://www.onebillionrising.org/about/campaign/one-billion-rising/

Care packages were created to support the following organizations:

  • Ama Transition House
  • Azure Place
  • Bill Reid Place
  • Charlford House
  • Cold Weather Shelters across the Lower Mainland
  • Dixon House
  • Durrant Transition House
  • Elizabeth Gurney House
  • Evergreen Transition House
  • Firth Residence
  • Fraserside Emergency Family Shelter
  • Hyland House
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Joy’s Place
  • Kenkinow Native Housing Society
  • Koomseh Housing
  • Maxxine Wright Place
  • Monarch Place
  • Nova House
  • Shimai Transition House
  • Springhouse Vancouver Women’s Shelter
  • Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
  • Vi Fineday Family Shelter Society

This year’s community partners included, Centre For Israel And Jewish Affairs, Global Girl Power, Global Peace Alliance, Guru Nanak Foundation of Canada, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, Kaur Project, Mustang Justice, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Surrey, Surrey Interfaith Council , The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vancouver Interfaith Network, World Sikh Organization of Canada, Worldwide Shift Disturbers.

www.1brlm.com

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Over $1.35 Million Raised at Surrey Hospital Foundation Gala

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Surrey Hospital Foundation’s 5th Annual Gala Raises Over $1.35 Million in Support of Surgery at Surrey Memorial Hospital

On Saturday, February 22, 2020, 680 local business, community, medical, and philanthropic leaders attended the 5th Annual Celebration of Care Gala at Aria Banquet Centre in Surrey. $1,352,000 was raised for innovative equipment purchases for the region’s largest and busiest surgical centre at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Surrey Hospital Foundation hosted the sold-out event, themed after a glamorous, Hollywood-style after party. The gala began with an exciting red carpet experience where guests were fawned over by actors portraying Hollywood paparazzi. Emcees Keri Adams and Jason Pires of CTV led guests through the evening featuring dinner by Peake of Catering, and impressive entertainment with Vancouver’s pre-eminent DJs, DJ Chloe and DJ Pri. The live auction, led by beloved showman, Fred Lee, was a highlight of the event. After dinner, guests indulged in a dynamic dance party with Vancouver’s legendary Dr. Strangelove Band, with special guest Keri Adams.

“Our fifth annual gala was a great success,” says Jane Adams, President & CEO of Surrey Hospital Foundation. “In the past five years, our gala guests have raised over $10 million for Surrey Memorial Hospital. This year’s gala was about excellence. It was about supporting the excellent surgeons we have in Surrey and attracting more. In the race for exceptional medical talent, Surrey must win. Our residents deserve the very best.”

This year’s Gala Committee was led by Gala Committee Chair, Sonia Virk of Virk Viyas and Associate Lawyers. It was generously supported by over 40 sponsors, including Berezan Group and EllisDon who returned as Presenting Sponsors. Starline Windows, Qualico, and Blackwood Partners returned as the Dinner, Reception and Entertainment Sponsors. Surrey Honda generously donated a hybrid vehicle to the event raffle, and RBC enlisted the help of their Youth Ambassadors to help welcome guests to the event.

Westland Insurance joined the gala as Valet Sponsor, Newway and RBI were Diamond Sponsors this year, and Leith Wheeler returned as Silent Auction Sponsor. Heritage Office Furnishings and MNP joined the gala as Décor Sponsor and Wine Sponsor, respectively. Marathon Homes returned as Photo Booth Sponsor. Gold Sponsors included: BMO, Coast Capital Savings, Deloitte, Envision Financial, Guildford Town Centre, Hayer Builders Group, Murray Latta, Nanak Foods, Second Cup (Surrey Memorial), TD, Virk Viyas and Associate Lawyers.

Silver Sponsors included: Basran Wealth Management, Century Group, K-Bro Linens, KDS Construction, Manning Elliott, PearTree, Pitt Meadows Plumbing and Searay Foods. In-kind sponsors included 99 Nursery & Florist, Print Advantage, Aria Banquet & Convention Centre, BC Event Management, Bell Media, Black Press Media, Darpan Magazine, Drishti Magazine, Post Media, RedFM.

For more information, please visit surreyhospitalfoundation.com/gala.

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Moving Forward Family Services and SEVA Thrift Store Society Announce New Program

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Moving Forward Family Services and SEVA Thrift Store Society are proud to announce their partnership in Interview Ready, Dress to Profession. Eligible Moving Forward Family Services clients could receive the opportunity to participate in the program, where they will receive professional attire and interview support from SEVA Thrift Store Society.

Entering or returning to the workforce can be a difficult transition, and finding suitable attire can be challenging. Both agencies hope that Interview Ready, Dress to Profession will address gaps in current employment services and reduce some of the barriers associated with the job seeking process.

Moving Forward Family Services will screen eligible clients; individuals in lower socio-economic situations who are unemployed or face precarious employment, are actively seeking employment, and have scheduled interviews. SEVA Thrift Store Society will provide each candidate with two complete head-to-toe outfits as well as consultation to become interview ready. Dependent on availability, clients may receive “confidence coaching” from volunteer HR specialists.

“SEVA and Moving Forward Family Services are grassroots agencies dedicated to supporting our diverse communities. I look forward to working with SEVA in providing our mutual clients much needed supports that may significantly improve their current life circumstances.” – Gary Thandi, Executive Director of Moving Forward Family Services

 “Seva Thrift is extremely excited to launch this initiative with Moving Forward Family Services. We recognize that unstable employment and low wages negatively impact our community because our community is only as strong as its most vulnerable citizens.” – Kiran Malli, President of SEVA Thrift Store Society.

SEVA Thrift Store Society’s values are service, sustainability, empowerment, equity, volunteerism, vitality of community, altruism, and appreciation.  Moving Forward Family Services works with the community, for the community, ever striving to provide integrated services for clients.

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