Lotus Light Day

Lotus Light Community Caring Day Distributes 50,000 Gift Items to Vancouver DTES Impoverished and Homeless

Lotus Light Community Caring Day Distributes 50,000 Gift Items to Vancouver DTES Impoverished and Homeless

On Saturday, July 16th, 2022, Lotus Light Charity Society (Vancouver) held its sixth annual “Lotus Light Community Caring Day” at Lotus Light’s headquarters to celebrate community caring and giving in the Downtown Eastside. Lotus Light Charity Society partnered with corporate sponsors and community organizations to distribute food and personal care items to the area’s most vulnerable low-income families, seniors, women, children, youth and homeless.

“Lotus Light Charity Community Caring Day” was officially proclaimed by the City of Vancouver in 2017 in recognition of Lotus Light’s excellent community service. Lotus Light Community Caring Day aims to unite individuals, business, neighborhoods, and other charitable organizations to raise awareness, provide recourses, and support the most vulnerable members of the Downtown Eastside community.

Each Lotus Light Community Care day event has gathered over a thousand people to participate in the community care event.

At 12:30 PM on Saturday afternoon, Lotus Light presented a donation of 5,000 pounds of rice to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, and donated a total of 50,000 gift items to the low-income in the community and to the participating organizations serving the vulnerable groups in the community. Lotus Light also awarded the 2022 annual Lotus Light Charity Scholarship to five students for their academic excellence and community volunteering.  Lotus Light Charity Society also presented appreciation certificates to corporate sponsors and community partners — including the Community Program of the Vancouver Police Department, Superstore Grandview Highway and Marine Drive, Wholesale Club Burnaby, St Germain Bakery Richmond and Novagold — for their support, as well as to Lotus Light’s kitchen team and food recovery team.

Saturday’s event also celebrated Lotus Light Charity Society’s 29th anniversary serving the Vancouver DTES community. In attendance were MP Jenny Kwan, Deputy Mayor of Vancouver and Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung, Councillors Pete Fry and Lisa Dominato, Parks Board Commissioner Gwen Giesbrecht, Inspector Terry Yung, Staff sergeant Bes Dobreci, Constables  Bryon Yee and Jen Obuck of the Vancouver Police Department, and representatives from community services and supports organizations: Janssen Ong, Executive Director of Chinese (Chinatown) Community Policing Centre; Dan Turvill, Executive Director of Strathcona Community Policing Centre; Mike Sauer, Executive Director of Grandview – Woodland Community Policing Centre; and Lorraine Lowe, Executive Director at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Hosting the event were Lotus Light’s Chair of the Board, Vajra Master Lian Tzi, and the charity’s Vice-President Dr. Floyd Wong. The event was helped by officers of Vancouver Police Department’s community program, and volunteers from community policing centres: Strathcona Policing Centre, Grandview – Woodland Community Policing Centre, Chinese Community Policing Centre and Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre.

MP Jenny Kwan praised Lotus Light’s long time community services for the community: “Each and every day, all 365 days of the year, is a community caring day in the hearts and minds of the people at Lotus Light. You do this throughout the course of the year. You gather the donations, receive volunteer support, bring the community partners together, and cumulate to this event for today … Lotus Light’s work of community care is an expression of love, to say to the community and to each other that we care about you, that we love you, that you matter; no matter what, no matter who you are and where you come from.”

Premier Horgan sent a greeting message from the provincial government to the people attending the event, and thanked all the charity work Lotus Light has been doing for the community for many years. He also gave thanks to the contributions of generous event sponsors and dedicated volunteers.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Kirby-Yung read the Lotus Light Day proclamation, signed by Mayor Kennedy Stewart, praising Lotus Light’s community work in the last 29 years, including many charity programs such as the annual Winter Charity Drive to distribute sleeping bags, emergency food and winter care packages to the most vulnerable in the DTES community. Councillor Kirby-Yung thanked Lotus Light’s valuable contributions towards improving the lives of others in our community, and wished Lotus Light a successful community event, both this year and in future years as well. Councillors Pete Fry and Lisa Dominato also praised Lotus Light’s community services for bring compassion and protection to the vulnerable in the Downtown Eastside community. Commissioner Giesbrecht praised Lotus Light’s long-time partnership with the parks board, which included monthly hot meal distributions in Oppenheimer Park before the pandemic to the over ten years of support to Strathcona Community Centre’s children backpack program, and the support of Strathcona’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Hub.

Honorable guests, members of Vancouver Police Department’s community program, and volunteers from community policing centers joined charity volunteers to distribute barbecue hotdogs, burgers, and food hampers to over a thousand low-income residents and seniors living in social housing and the homeless in the community. Items distributed included grilled hot dogs and burgers, muffins, red bean and coconut buns, fruits, juice, canned tuna, cookies, crackers, granola snacks, chocolate bars, soy milk drinks, Starbucks coffee, and disposable masks and other personal protection equipment.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020, Lotus Light Charity Society has launched the Covid-19 Community Caring Drive to provide relief to low-income families and individuals including isolated seniors, migrant workers, new immigrants, refugees, the unemployed, families of inner-city school children, Indigenous groups, and the homeless. Through partnering with large food warehouses, food manufacturers, distribution centers, neighbourhood houses and food assistance groups, the charity has distributed over 420,000 lbs of food to benefit tens of thousands of families and individuals impacted by the pandemic across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The Lotus Light Charity Kitchen program has provided 20,000 free meals to help the low-income senior living in SRO social housing and to homeless in the community. And Lotus Light’s new Children Assistance Plan (CAP) continues providing food and household items, including hampers and grocery shopping gift cards, to help inner-city school students from low-income families. Over $10,000 worth of gift cards have been given out in the last 8 months to help students from low-income families in inner-city schools, and this has benefited over 500 students and their families from 8 different schools.

Lotus Light continues partnering with generous corporate sponsors, low-income families services organizations to help people in need in our community. We are seeking dedicated volunteers to join our charity programs. For more information on various Lotus Light’s charity programs, please contact us by email:llcsvancouver@gmail.com, Tel: 604-685-5548, or visit lotus light website: http://vllcs.org.  Lotus Light Charity Society registered number:  BN 14110-4893-RR0001.

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