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Volunteers are the backbone of Sardis Doorway

Serving meals to single mothers with young children for 35 years
Volunteers preparing food at the Sardis Doorway. (Submitted)

In the early 1980s, a group of women in Chilliwack began to wonder about how they could better serve single mothers who were raising their young children in stressful situations.

They met and they planned and as they did, a few things became clear. The first was that eating together would be a big part of the program. Not because everyone was that hungry but because there is something about eating together that levels the playing field.

Everyone needs to eat.

The second part that was essential to their planning was that the work would be done by volunteers. So, in February 1987, 12 volunteers met to serve six families bringing 12 preschool-aged children.

In the 35 years since, those things have not changed. Sardis Doorway still serves the needs of single and high-risk mothers and their young children.

Today more than 40 families participate in the program each year. Eating together is still a big part of the program that serves both breakfast and lunch.

And volunteers still do the work. Currently there are more than 60 volunteers who work each Wednesday doing many things:

Caring for the infants, toddlers and preschoolers;

Preparing amazing breakfasts and lunches;

Supporting and mentoring the mothers in their program;

Serving on the board of directors to ensure a healthy and relevant program.

Without these amazing people who come from every corner of our community, Sardis Doorway would not be able to do the work they do.

For more information including information on volunteering, visit or email

About the Author: Chilliwack Progress Staff

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