With our busy lives, it's easy to be completely immersed by the things that directly impact us. I, for one, am guilty of that. It's the same most days - get up, go to work, go home, take care of kids, cook dinner (or go out), give kids a bath, put them to bed, blog a little, then fall asleep. By virtue of living in Canada, we are already further ahead than most nations. We get our basic needs met, such as shelter, food and health care. For those who are more fortunate, there are luxuries. Furthermore, for what I do, I am very lucky to dine on such delectable delights so often. Therefore, we often lose sight of those who are less fortunate. Hey, I'm no saint (and probably will never qualify anyways...). But I do know one thing - there are people who do not have food to eat (even for a prosperous nation such as Canada), let alone dining in an expensive restaurant.
Today, we did our annual visit to the Sally Ann Harbour Light located in the Downtown Eastside. With its location and the reputation of the area, it is quite easily to misunderstand the purpose of the place. Moreover, we often make assumptions and form misconceptions of the clientele it serves. Yes, there are the individuals who suffer from drug addictions and mental illness; however, there are many people who just can't afford food due to many factors. With the help of sponsors and donations made by various organizations including local supermarkets combined with volunteers and existing clients of the Salvation Army, there are over 208,000 meals served annually. We've been volunteering at the Sally Ann for 3 years and most of the people making it happen are those going through their substance abuse treatment program.
How do people end up here at the Sally Ann? Well, there are many stories we've heard over the last 3 years and not one is ever exactly the same. Addictions can take many different forms and are a result of various factors in an individual's life. But they all have one thing in common - the drugs and its deadly grip. This is where the Sally Ann comes into play. At Harbour Light, they provide treatment programs for those who are seeking it. Although they are a religious organization, there are no expectations. They are only there to help, not to convert. Of course if one chooses to, it is their own choice. There is much more we can do to support organizations such as the Sally Ann, myself included. However, every little bit counts and those who rely on such assistance are grateful.
If you would like to find out more information or help, check out their webpage.