Connecting with Chilliwack’s most needy

The idea behind Chilliwack Connect on Saturday is simple: connect the homeless, working poor, or those at risk of becoming homeless, with a cornucopia of donated goods, services and resource people.

Everything will be given away for free on Oct. 15 and nothing is expected in return.

The second Chilliwack Connect event could attract more than 400 participants this year to First Avenue Christian Assembly

The idea behind the community-driven event running all day Saturday is simple: connect the homeless, working poor, or those at risk of being on the streets, with a cornucopia of donated goods, services and resource people.

A hot meal, a hair cut, child care, and some gently used clothes are available at no cost to participants, as result of the work of more than 150 volunteers and 20 organizing team members from the faith community, and non-profit sector, to various levels of government.

“It’s a life-changing experience for some,” said Coun. Stewart McLean, a member of the Chilliwack Connect planning team. “It can give people focus and a direction to go in.”

Volunteers are paired with individuals as soon as they register to help them navigate the various kiosks and agencies on hand that may have information they need.

Last year a single mom of five kids told the city councillor that “no one” had ever treated her so well in her whole life.

“It’s one of those things where it just feels like the right thing to do,” McLean said. “The idea is that we’re there to serve them as our guests for the day and possible connect them with the resource people they’re looking for.”

All participants get a door prize ticket and they all win some sort of prize during the day, as well as a bag full of hygiene products and other donated items.

“Their faces just light up. So many people told me last year they had never won anything before,” he said. “Those experiences impact you emotionally.”

But the atmosphere is purposely relaxed, and no one is forced to do anything.

The second ever Chilliwack Connect event is set for Oct. 15, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the First Avenue Christian Assembly.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fabrication work for Vedder Bridge roundabout art project is well underway

Funds of $255K held in reserve from new bridge budget do not represent a new cost for artwork

Chilliwack school trustees using Zoom to conduct meetings during pandemic

Public participation not available, but staff taking public questions before and after meetings

A little snow and hail for Chilliwack but no record broken

It was the second snowiest April day in Chilliwack on record Friday

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Are you a senior needing help during COVID-19? These Chilliwack volunteers are here for you

Picking up groceries and phone chats are just some of the services being offered at no charge

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Most Read