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Our Community: Threshold Housing gets $3.1M, Soup Kitchen aims to raise $24,000

The gift will allow Threshold Housing to pay off the mortgage on its Supportive Recovery Program property in James Bay and complete the purchase of Threshold House in Oak Bay

Threshold Housing gets $3.1M to help at-risk youth

Threshold Housing Society has received a $3.1-million gift that will allow it to pay off the ­mortgage on its Supportive Recovery Program property in James Bay and complete the purchase of Threshold House in Oak Bay.

The gift was made by Clint and Carole Forster and facilitated by the Victoria Foundation and RBC Phillips Hager and North Investment Counsel.

“Some organizations will go their entire life cycle without receiving this kind of boost,” said Colin Tessier, executive director of Threshold Housing, which provides housing and other supports for at-risk youth ages 15 to 24.

An initial $1.6 million allowed the society to pay off the mortgage on the eight-bed home in James Bay that houses its Supportive Recovery Program — the only youth recovery program on Vancouver Island that incorporates a harm-reduction approach.

An additional $1.5 million will help the society purchase Threshold House, a home for eight youth in a purpose-built house Threshold currently leases from the Oak Bay United Church. Following subdivision of the property and rezoning of the house, Threshold hopes to provide a permanent home for youth, offering the stability too often lacking in their lives, the society said.

Clint Forster said giving to people in need has always been important in his family, through volunteering as well as financial gifts.

CEO Sandra Richardson said the Victoria Foundation is inspired when people like the Forsters “embrace causes they are passionate about and support organizations like Threshold Housing.”

For more information about Threshold Housing Society, go to thresholdhousing.ca.

Soup Kitchen aims to raise $24,000 in 40 days

The Soup Kitchen, which operates out of the basement of St. Andrew’s Cathedral on View Street, is marking 40 years of feeding the community with its campaign to raise $24,000 in 40 days, now until Dec. 21.

The city’s longest-serving food resource, The Soup Kitchen provides meals for about 3,000 people — seniors, low-income workers, the unhoused and anyone living at risk — every month, serving more than one million meals since 1982.

With the onset of the pandemic, the group switched to preparing sandwiches and recently received a new 250-pound bread slicer, with help from a $5,000 donation from the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Victoria Commandery.

The automated bread slicer will save volunteers time so they can transform fresh loaves of bread donated by Cobs Bakery into sandwiches much faster, said Teri Hustins, the kitchen’s campaign chair.

To kick off the campaign, the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem presented the kitchen with a further $1,000 — enough to feed more than 160 people.

To donate to The Soup Kitchen’s fall campaign, go to thesoupkitchen.ca/40days.

Community kitchen beats $100K goal

The Shelbourne Community Kitchen’s Double Your Impact campaign has raised more than $100,000.

An anonymous donor inspired the campaign earlier this fall by offering to match all donations up to $50,000 received in October and November.

“Food insecurity is increasing at an alarming rate due to inflation, and our costs as an organization have been climbing along with it,” said Clarice Dillman, board chair of the Shelbourne Community Kitchen. “The funds raised through our Double Your Impact campaign could not have come at a better time.”

Those wishing to support the work of the kitchen can still contribute during three upcoming benefit concerts, with proceeds from ticket sales matched by the anonymous donor.

Donations can be made through shelbournecommunitykitchen.ca or through canadahelps.org — search for the Shelbourne Community Kitchen.

Royal Bay students support Goldstream Food Bank

Royal Bay Secondary School’s 10,000 Tonight fundraiser is back, with students going door-to-door in Colwood on Nov. 30, asking for non-perishable food items or monetary donations to help support the Goldstream Food Bank during this holiday season.

The event has played a major role in supporting the food bank for more than 15 years.

Organizers are still in need of about 50 volunteer drivers to help take volunteers on routes throughout the community. Volunteers are also needed to help sort and organize donations at the school.

The school will have a drop-off box for students to bring in their non-perishable food item donations over the next couple of weeks.

Cash and cheques (payable to the Goldstream Food Bank Society or School District 62) are accepted, or donate directly online via the link to the school cash online system at sd62.schoolcashonline.com/Fee/Details/14546/137/False/True.

The students will be collecting donations door-to-door around Colwood between 5 and 9 p.m. Nov. 30. To volunteer to drive, go to https://forms.gle/ZexjGprA6XLwaqSc6

For more information, contact Brian Hobson (bhobson@sd62.bc.ca) or Robyn White (rwhite@sd62.bc.ca).

Stelly's student gala backs Costa Rican women

The Grade 12 Global Perspectives class at Stelly’s Secondary School is holding a silent auction gala Nov. 24 to raise funds for a Women’s Empowerment Initiative in Costa Rica.

Global Perspectives is a two-year program that focuses on making positive change in the world. The Grade 11 year focuses on helping the local community while the Grade 12 class set its sights on making an improvement in a developing country.

The course culminates in an 18-day trip to a developing country — with students paying for their own travel and personal expenses — to implement the improvements. The Grade 12 Global Perspectives class will travel to Costa Rica in the spring of 2023.

Past projects include working with orphans in Haiti and building a play area at a retraining centre for single mothers in Cuba.

Tickets are available at the door. Admission is $15 for adults, free for children 7 and under. The gala runs 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 24 at the school, at 1627 Stelly’s Cross Rd.

A happy 'howliday' for shelter pets

Accent Inns is partnering with the B.C. Humane Society to deliver holiday cheer to shelter animals without fur-ever homes.

The company says it will donate 10 per cent of every leisure booking for the month of December to the B.C. Humane Society. The Victoria location will also host foster play dates with the goal of finding homes for as many pets as possible.

“B.C. Humane is seeing many dogs being surrendered due to behavioural issues which resulted from the difficulties in socializing young dogs during the pandemic,” said Penny Stone, executive director at B.C. Humane Society. The group is also bringing in dogs from remote communities.

“We really need foster homes to help take care of these dogs (and many cats), until we can secure permanent homes,” Stone said.

To book your “howliday” and to learn more about the campaign, go to accentinns.com/offers/howlidays.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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