7th Annual Lotus Light Community Caring Day: Lotus Light Distributes 70,000 Food and Care Items in Vancouver’s DTES to Mark LLCS 30th Anniversary
Lotus Light Charity Society (LLCS) held its seventh annual Lotus Light Community Caring Day on July 22nd, 2023, in front of the Lotus Light Activity Hall at 347 East Hastings Street to celebrate community caring and giving in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).
The first Lotus Light Charity Community Caring Day was officially proclaimed by the City of Vancouver in 2017, in recognition of Lotus Light’s community service. This annual event unites businesses, non-profits, and other community groups to support vulnerable members of the DTES.
This year, over 70,000 food and care items were distributed to over a thousand attendees, mostly homeless and low-income residents of the DTES and surrounding communities.
“I am so proud to see our community leaders, local businesses, and LLCS volunteers coming together to make this event a success. Thousands of people in the Downtown Eastside community are able to enjoy the community spirit of caring and giving. Lotus Light Charity Society (Vancouver) is proudly celebrating 30 years of serving the DTES community this year. Providing free BBQ and food hampers to help the vulnerable in our community,” said Master Lian Tzi, president of Lotus Light Charity Society.
Elected leaders at this year’s event included Vancouver-East MP Jenny Kwan, Deputy Mayor of Vancouver, Councillor Peter Meiszner, and Councillors Sarah Kirby-Yung and Lenny Zhou.
At the event, Deputy Mayor Peter Meiszner and Councillors Sarah Kirby-Yung and Lenny Zhou read together the proclamation of the 2023 Lotus Light Community Caring Day issued by Mayor Ken Sim and the whole city council, and presented it to Master Lian Tzi.
“I remember early on when I was first elected… we were exploring how we can support the community,” said MP Jenny Kwan. “I was touched then, and I continue to be impressed by [Lotus Light’s] ongoing commitment to care. And this is what this event is all about. And not just this event or their winter events, but every single day.”
Premier David Eby has also sent a greeting letter to the event. “For an impressive three decades, LLCS has remained a shining example of compassion, dedicated to serving our communities with devotion and selflessness. LLCS’s initiatives have played a pivotal role in addressing a wide range of social issues, and the annual Community Caring Day helps to ensure that every individual in our province feels supported and included.”
“It’s a real honour to be here, and thank you so much to the Society for all the amazing work that you have been doing for the past 30 years in the community,” said Deputy Mayor Peter Meiszner.
Community leaders who participated in the event included VPD Inspector Terry Yung, Constable Steve Dhaliwal, VPD Homeless Outreach Coordinator, Ms. Lorraine Lowe, Executive Director of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Director of the Vancouver Police Board, and Melanie Hennessey, Chairwoman of Covenant House Vancouver.
Other special guests included representatives from Strathcona Community Policing Centers, Chinese Community Policing Centre, Vancouver Aboriginal Policing Centre, and event major sponsors: Remo Mastropieri, manager at Superstore Grandview Highway; Carlo Fierro, manager at Superstore Marine Drive, and Anne So, Manager of St Germain Bakery.
During the event, Lotus Light presented a donation of 10,000 pounds of rice to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, awarded the 2023 Lotus Light Charity Scholarship to four students with outstanding academic and volunteering records, and presented appreciation certificates to corporate sponsors and community partners. The presentation ended with a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Society’s 30th anniversary.
Finally, our special guests joined Lotus Light volunteers and volunteers from community centers and Project Hastings youth group to distribute food, care items, coffee, and a barbecue lunch to over a thousand homeless and impoverished members of our community.
This annual distribution of food and care items every summer is one of Lotus Light’s many events throughout the year. Since 1995, Lotus Light has also distributed over 600,000 winter care items during our annual Winter Charity Drive; since 2010, the Lotus Light Food Recovery Program has rescued over 600,000 lbs of food in total for low-income families; and since 2020, Lotus Light has distributed over 500,000 pounds of food and over 30,000 free meals to help food-insecure individuals and households during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lotus Light gives its heartfelt thanks to all the community partners, corporate sponsors, and volunteers who have supported Lotus Light’s charitable activities throughout the years, and we hope to collaborate with many more kind-hearted individuals and groups for future projects as well. For those interested in supporting our activities, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 604-685-5548, or visit Lotus Light’s website: http://vllcs.org. Lotus Light Charity Society registered number: BN 14110-4893-RR0001.