Streetfront Storms the Downtown Eastside – A Tale of Fellowship and Goodwill
Alannah Wong thought that Streetfront should do something for those less fortunate considering it was the holiday season. It made sense considering the social conscience the program has always been committed to. On her own, she solicited her parents to help raise some money – before the day was over – a $100 was raised. Streetfront then matched that $100 and with $200 we were ready to give.
Ideas were pitched – socks; blankets; gloves – all were considered but in the end it was decided that the goal was to bring fellowship to a lonely place. We would take $100 and buy cookies; candy canes; oranges; juice boxes and chocolates. We would put those items in a Christmas bag and then go out into the community and meet our neighbours.
We got to Hastings and Cambie and spilled out into the community. It was such a moving experience. In my 14 years at Streetfront, I’m not sure if I’ve ever been prouder than I was that afternoon. The kids were a bit reluctant to get engaged at first – to be honest, it is such a demonized place, who could blame them – but soon a magical metamorphosis took place. Once someone shook a hand or talked to a stranger that whole edifice of fear and anxiety was replaced with confidence and brotherhood. Soon all the kids were shaking hands, hugging, talking to or singing carols with total strangers. The kids couldn’t get to the bags fast enough. They were actually running for the chance to engage with people they may have formerly ignored or derided. It took just a mere 10 minutes to give out the 100 bags but the feeling of community and support – will last a lifetime.
Those that think the youth of today are a lost cause of electronics and apathy need to come to Streetfront. I’m excited about the future – we all should be. Sent from my iPhone