Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Victoria students share the holiday spirit with the homeless

This is from Woodwynn Farms

For Immediate Release – Nov. 22, 2011

Victoria, BC – Student volunteers from Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria in partnership with Woodwynn Farms and Cabin 12 are collecting winter clothing to donate to the homeless of Victoria. Entitled Camp Compassion, the event coincides with the City of Victoria’s Santa Claus Parade, the 4th Annual Christmas Tree Light-up, and the opening of the Centennial Square skating rink. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations to Cabin 12 restaurant adjacent to Centennial Square on Pandora Street and share the holiday spirit with those less fortunate among us.

Entertainment will be provided by local Victoria musicians Jonathan Percy-Brother and Natascha Chatterton who will perform live starting at 6:30 p.m. on the stage at Cabin 12. Coffee and tea will be provided to warm the crowd and the Woodwynn Farms truck will be used to gather donated clothing items to be distributed by the Committee to End Homelessness in Victoria.

Homelessness is an important issue in Victoria, Mayor-elect Dean Fortin said in support of this student-led initiative.

“Last year homelessness was the number one concern in the city. This year it is the second most important issue behind affordable housing,” he said. “We need to make sure people continue working towards solutions so as much progress can be made this year as last.”

The event will also allow people to find out more about Woodwynn Farms, a therapeutic community in Saanich that provides an integrated solution for two challenging issues facing the region, local food security and opportunities for those in recovery from addiction and mental health to acquire life-skills and structure as a way of providing a sustainable solution for those struggling with homelessness in our community.

Woodwynn Farms founder and CEO Richard LeBlanc, who has been working to create a therapeutic community in the heart of Victoria’s agricultural zone for the past five years, was energized when the students came to him with the idea in September.

“As I’ve said before, Victoria’s homeless population needs more than a bed and a cup of soup,” he said. “People need to be more aware of the myriad of challenges Victoria’s homeless face. When the students approached me about staging this event, their compassion and awareness was humbling and energizing. I hope people will respond with donations of clothing and support the movement to end homelessness in our community and provide lasting change in the lives of those struggling with addictions and mental health.”

For more Information contact Kristyn Snell, Event Organizer, phone: 778-679-1163, e-mail: campcompasion2011@gmail.com

Woodwynn Farms is a non-profit 193-acre organic farm that hosts a therapeutic community for the homeless, offering an opportunity to transform people’s lives with education and work programmes based on responsibility, dignity, independence and the principles of peer-to-peer support. Work skills, community, self-respect and a deep understanding of sustainability are fundamental pillars for reintegrating clients into society at Woodwynn Farms.
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