Lotus Light Responds to Extreme Weather, Distributes Hot Meals, Blankets and Care Packages to Street Homeless
The extreme cold and Arctic outflow in Metro Vancouver during the week of Christmas caused wind-chill temperatures at or below -20 C, and Vancouver broke a 50-year record when temperatures dipped as low as -15.3 C. Shelters and warming centers have opened up for individuals experiencing homelessness to find refuge, but many people must still stay on the streets during the day as shelters and warming centers only operate at night.
While other Vancouverites are enjoying the holidays from the warmth and safety of their homes, many don’t have that option. In response, Lotus Light Charity Society volunteers and our partner organizations went onto the streets to hand out hot meals, hot coffee, hot chocolate, sandwiches, fruit, snacks, pastries, and care packages with gloves, socks, scarves, hats, ponchos, and blankets. Lotus Light Emergency Kitchen also specially prepared hot meals to distribute to people in the streets who are in need.
On Christmas Eve, Lotus Light volunteers and high school students from Project Hastings headed out onto the streets to distribute Starbucks hot chocolate (sponsored by Starbucks International Village), winter care packages, sandwiches, fruit, and snacks to individuals experiencing homelessness. Project Hastings is a student-led non-profit organization whose young volunteers have already participated in many Lotus Light organized events this year, including Lotus Light Community Caring Day and our 2021 Winter Charity Drive.
On Tuesday, the coldest day of the week, Lotus Light volunteers delivered care packages with warm blankets, sandwiches, hot meals, hot chocolate, and snacks to the homeless people living in tents under the Georgia Viaduct. On Wednesday, volunteers distributed hot lunch boxes, fruit juice, ham sandwiches, and fruit snacks to homeless on the street. The lunch boxes were specially prepared by Lotus Light Emergency Kitchen.
On New Years’ Eve, Lotus Light volunteers headed to the streets again, distributing hot coffee, sandwiches, hot meals, snacks, socks, hats, and warm blankets in the Downtown Eastside.
The Lotus Light Winter Charity Drive, now in its 26th year, has raised awareness in the community and brought much-needed aid to Vancouver’s homeless every year since 1995. Lotus Light Charity Society has distributed over 400,000 winter garments and non-perishable food items since the Winter Charity Drive’s inception.
At the 2021 Winter Charity Drive, Lotus Light — with the support of Homeless Action Week 2021, corporate sponsors, and community partners — distributed almost 40,000 sleeping bags, blankets, winter garments, toiletries, PPE, and food items to individuals experiencing homelessness, low-income families, and inner-city schools’ student assistance programs.
“I have delivered these care packages with my wife every year, and visit shelters and see people I never met. It’s so amazing for Lotus Light to give away these care packages and provide food, socks, and toiletries for people on the street. Thank you so much!” said councillor Michael Wiebe at the Winter Charity Drive 2021 event. Councillor Michael Wiebe has helped Lotus Light deliver Winter Charity Drive care packages to the city’s temporary shelters for the past three years.
LLCS Covid-19 Community Caring Drive will continue partnering with generous corporate sponsors, food warehouses, local food assistance groups, and food distribution hubs to distribute much needed food to help people in need in our community. For more information on Lotus Light’s various charity programs, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone at 604-685-5548, or visit our website: http://vllcs.org. Lotus Light Charity Society registered number: BN 14110-4893-RR0001.