As homeless count numbers remain virtually unchanged from 2014, Union Gospel Mission (UGM) reaches out to those in need as they prepare to serve 5,000 meals at their largest event of the year – the Summer BBQ. On Saturday, July 18 at Oppenheimer Park, UGM will be joined by Concert Properties who, for the third consecutive year, have helped provide not only the means to offer the event, but 100 of the 200 volunteers needed to run it.
This year, however, UGM is short on volunteers and looking to the community to sign up and lend a hand.
“At Concert, we take great pride in finding creative ways to give back to the city we call home,” said Brian McCauley, Concert’s President and COO. “The work that UGM has done over the past 75 years in Vancouver’s DTES is inspiring – it’s an honour to help them bring their largest event of the year to life along with 100 of my Concert colleagues.”
The free community event offers a myriad of family-friendly activities like a bouncy castle, face painting, mini-carnival of games and, of course, cotton candy. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the delicious food and tunes by Hot Wax Mobile Music.
Like UGM’s other community events, the BBQ provides a meal and makes the season fun and memorable for so many who struggle day to day, but its potential impact is much more profound. UGM meals are a chance for those struggling with homelessness, addiction and chronic poverty to connect with UGM outreach workers and to become acquainted with the life-saving assistance available to them.
“So much of what UGM offers isn’t actually about the meal, but it’s where everything starts,” said Bruce Curtiss, Senior Chaplain. “This event gives us the chance to provide respite and practical care to those in need, and to build a relationship of trust and community.”
This year will also be a celebration of 75 years of working with the local community to help improve and transform the lives of those struggling most in the community.
- 5,000 burgers
- 5,000 smokies
- 1,500 lbs of coleslaw
- 1,500 lbs of pasta salad
- 5,000 cans of pop
- 5,000 freezies
Union Gospel Mission’s 17th Annual Summer BBQ
When: Saturday, July 18
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Oppenheimer Park – Cordova Street between Dunlevy and Jackson
What to volunteer?
UGM is in need of more volunteers to fill four shifts:
- 7:30 to 11 a.m.
- 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
- 1 to 4:30 p.m.
- 4 to 5 p.m.
Email [email protected] to sign up.
Photos from last year’s BBQ: