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Another View: It takes a community to make change

We know we are just scratching the surface in ways we can support and help our homeless neighbours and nurture hope in new beginnings.
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It’s no secret that homelessness is an issue in our community, but I believe we are heading in the right direction. Ending homelessness isn’t easy, but progress is being made, although it is not a role for one person, business or agency either.

At The Mustard Seed Kamloops, volunteers are always needed and, on any given day, we have a variety of roles for at least 25 people and that demand only increases come the holidays. In the kitchen, help for our big holiday meals is critical and our volunteers are trying to change lives.

But that’s not the only area in which we need support. Fall signals the start of our major fundraising efforts and Kamloops has always been incredibly generous.

Last year, despite all the challenges COVID-19 brought our way, our community helped us reach our goals to run the many programs and services we offer.

We express our deepest appreciation for the support.

As we kick things off this fall, we have a new event called Harvest TakeAway. For a $50 donation, you can purchase a fresh soup kit with fresh produce from Thistle Farms — all the ingredients needed to make a gluten- and dairy-free vegetarian soup with a recipe from executive chef Mitch Shafer of Cordo Resto + Bar at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kamloops.

Soup kits with fresh baked goods will be ready for pick up on Saturday, Oct 2.

On Nov. 30, we will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a worldwide event that takes place after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It is a day on which people from around the world come together to support the charities that mean most to them.

Then we’re in December, when we will be hosting our second annual Turkey Toss fundraiser, our Christmas in the Bag initiative to provide men and women with bags of essential hygiene products and, of course, our annual Christmas dinner.

This shows the kind of work we are doing, how much we care about those that need our help the most and why community support is so vital.

Something we hear quite often from donors who want to support us is a concern that their donations will go to support our other Mustard Seed locations in Alberta. Donations given locally are indeed sent to our processing centre in Calgary, but every dollar donated here to what we do in Kamloops does stay local.

We know we are just scratching the surface in ways we can support and help our homeless neighbours and nurture hope in new beginnings.

If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing, I invite you to reach out and we can set up a virtual tour or an in-person tour following all COVID-19 protocols. Call 250-434-9898 or email InfoKamloops@theseed.ca for more information.

Kelly Thomson is managing director of The Mustard Seed Kamloops. Prior to this role, he worked at MolyCop for more than 30 years and was for many years a board member and volunteer with New Life Community prior to its merger with The Mustard Seed.