Editorial: Mustard Seed gets a hand

The Mustard Seed food bank and drop-in centre is always helping those in need, and now the Mustard Seed is getting a much-needed helping hand from hundreds of volunteers.

These volunteers won’t be passing out food. Under the guidance of organizer Paul Latour, they’re giving the food bank a $300,000 facelift. Latour, a waiter at the Oak Bay Marina Restaurant, has developed a knack for gathering people and businesses to create extreme makeovers.

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The Mustard Seed has been in the building at 625 Queens Ave. since 1994, and the place is suffering from years of heavy use by the 7,000 people who come through it every month.

Assistant director Rudi Wallace says: “We do our best to provide a clean and safe environment. But we want to be able to provide a better one.”

The 5,000-square-foot renovation will be the most ambitious of Latour’s three projects. Dubbed Hero Work, it will gather volunteers and donations from contractors and other businesses.

The last reno, for the Casa Maria Emergency Housing Society, did $100,000 worth of renovations on a $500 budget.

That’s a lot of leverage, and it takes people with heart who are willing to chip in work, expertise, services and goods.

When the non-profit groups on which so many people depend are stretched to the limit, it’s inspiring to see more volunteers spring up to ease the burden.

The well of human compassion seems bottomless.

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