Just before the October long weekend, we shared details of the unfortunate theft of a bike packed with hundreds of Thanksgiving meals for local seniors. While we were able to recover the bike from the bottom of a Stanley Park ravine later that day, we unfortunately lost hundreds of turkey dinners destined for vulnerable West End seniors.
The story was amplified by news outlets over the weekend and we started to receive offers of support by midnight on Friday.
Strangers from across the City and across the country, horrified by what they had seen, started pitching in in any ways they could. Some offered to drop off frozen turkeys. Others offered to cook a few additional servings with their own Thanksgiving dinners and drop off the extra meals. Our immediate neighbours offered to help deliver, and we even received offers of a cash donation from a small business in St. James, Ontario, wanting to help out in any way that they could.
One East Vancouver gentleman even offered to take his motorcycle down to a grocery store of our choice and help out with grocery shopping – he said the motorbike would be no good for delivering meals but he could balance bags of groceries on the back pretty well!
Buoyed by the community support, Chef Amanda and Executive Director Siobhan Powlowski went down to the Gordon Neighbourhood House kitchen over the weekend, put on their aprons and roasted six additional turkeys to replace the missing meals. The meals were packed with mashed potatoes, roast veg with extra butter, and lots of gravy. They were sent out for delivery on another electric bike and thankfully made it to our seniors in time for their dinner.
“We extend our utmost, heartfelt gratitude to those who helped amplify the message and those who reached out in support,” said Siobhan Powlowski, Executive Director. “We will be putting any proceeds toward the Christmas packages and meals that we intend to deliver this year to those in isolation. This winter will be difficult for so many of us, and we hope that this situation can serve as a reminder that we will get through by taking care of each other.”
“This Thanksgiving, we celebrated apart for the first time in memory. But here at Gordon House, we have never felt so connected and so cared for by our community as we have this weekend. While one person may have sought fit to take the bike, the vast majority of people around us have responded with overwhelming generosity and kindness. This, collectively, is who we are – we take care of our seniors and those less fortunate than us.”
Gordon Neighbourhood House is aiming to deliver 5,000 nutritious meals by the end of the year. If you would like to support this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.