FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Friday, December 1st, 2023 –
Bringing Christmas Cheer Through Family Portraits At Union Gospel Mission
UGM’s Annual Help-Portrait event empowers DTES folks through a free photo studio
(Vancouver, B.C.) – As we get closer to Christmas, Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is hosting its annual Help-Portrait event — a beloved family tradition for folks living in the Downtown Eastside. In partnership with Help-Portrait Vancouver, this Saturday, December 2nd families can have their Christmas photos taken by professional photographers for free and be able to take home memories that will last a lifetime.
Holly Gurney, a mom of five, has brought her kids to Help-Portrait at UGM for over 10 years. She says, “UGM’s watched all my kids grow up. I use the photos every year for my Christmas cards, and send them to my family. My mom always puts them on her wall — although she’s far, she keeps photos of me and the grandkids close.”
Gurney’s daughter passed away in September 2022, so she cherishes all the photos she took with her through Help-Portrait. “That’s the power of a photo,” says Sarah Chew, UGM’s Spokesperson, “It holds memories that our community members can hold onto forever. This is a unique chance to pamper and show love to folks in our neighbourhood who experience poverty, homelessness and addiction. We are so excited to see them smile when they look at their pictures.”
Community members will get to have their hair and makeup professionally done, and after their photoshoot, they’ll receive printed copies to take home. Help-Portrait is completely run by volunteers — and they love coming back each year to watch families grow and confidence be instilled. “The best gift back to us are the smiles we receive from all those that are part of the experience,” says Bernard Ng, Director of Help-Portrait Vancouver.
Aside from pictures, there will also be entertainment for individuals and families who come to UGM on Saturday; musicians will be performing throughout the day, and hot chocolate will be served. Through this event, UGM hopes our neighbours in the DTES will feel beautiful, feel welcome, and will make memories they’ll hold onto for years to come.
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive at 11:00am
Where: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver
- Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Upon arrival at 601 E Hastings, please enter UGM Reception where you can sign in at the Media Desk.
- Media are welcome to attend Help-Portrait between 11 AM & 1 PM, and we request RSVP’ing to arrange an interview time slot.
Media Relations Specialist
Cell: (604) 996-1417
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, and families for over 80 years. Through its eight locations in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, UGM offers an intentional continuum of care through outreach, meals, emergency shelter, alcohol and drug recovery, affordable housing, and career development. The heart of UGM is to demonstrate God’s abundant love, and provide opportunities for healing, transformation, and integration into healthy communities and toward brighter futures. To learn more, visit UGM.ca.
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