Downtown Eastside Street Store gives back to homeless this holiday season
For Christina Wong, the holiday season is all about making sure those in need feel appreciated.
The SFU student will be organizing and hosting the Street Store for the third year in a row on December 18, in order to give back to the homeless living in the Downtown Eastside.
The Street Store is the world’s first free pop-up clothing store, where individuals in need have the opportunity to find gently used clothing items, accessories, and shoes they want and like.
The idea began in Cape Town, South Africa, in order to allow homeless people a sense of dignity by giving them the chance to choose what clothing items they need.
The Street Store has since spread to over 120 cities around the world, including Vancouver.
Wong hosted her first Street Store in 2014, and it was a huge success. Last year’s street store brought in over 2000 donations, 50 volunteers, and 500 shoppers.
The one-day pop-up shop has become a tradition for Wong who is inspired continuously by the individuals she meets at the yearly event.
“Witnessing youth engaging in acts of compassion by interacting with the homeless has been the biggest source of inspiration for me. It is the fuel behind my motivation to continue hosting annual Street Stores,” Wong told Daily Hive.
Wong is partnering up with several organizations to make this year’s event even bigger and better:
- DTES Street Market
- Frontrvnners Streetwear
- Atria Technologies Cooperative
- TWC Alliance – Idris Hudson
- Sunrise Market
- Britannia Youth
Street Store Executive team -Sally C, Idris H, Mitra T, Stephanie C, Ada L, Patricia C, Aby B, Maggie L, Jia C, Howard L, Victoria E, and Elizabeth Y)
“Watching stereotypes vanish is extremely empowering for me and is evidence towards building a more compassionate community. Many underestimate the impact that youth are capable of making,” said Wong.
“Only through compassion can we bridge the divide. It’s not enough to just raise awareness, we need to take action as well.”
If you want to help, Wong is looking for the following donations:
- Unused toiletries or hygiene products
- Monetary donations
The Street Store
Where: 62 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
When: Sunday, December 18 from 10 am to 4 pm
If you want to volunteer or donate: Contact [email protected] to find out how or give her a call at 778-928-1221.