FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Friday, December 8th, 2023 –
Filling Bellies and Hearts This Christmas At Union Gospel Mission
UGM’s annual Christmas Meal brings the DTES community together for the holidays
(Vancouver, B.C.) – Christmas is near, but not everyone in Metro Vancouver will be waking up to a warm house with presents and loved ones this year. It can be a lonely and isolating time for anyone but especially those who may be experiencing homelessness, poverty, or addiction. This Saturday, December 9th, Union Gospel Mission will be holding its annual Christmas Meal to bring the Downtown Eastside community together for a time that fills bellies as well as hearts.
Abdulkarim Hassan will be spending his first Christmas apart from his wife and three kids this year. A refugee who’s been living at UGM since August, he dreams of making a steady income to bring his family over to Vancouver to live with him. Although he’s across the ocean from his loved ones, he’s happy to be surrounded by community at UGM through this Christmas Meal.
Hassan says, “I want to give my kids a better life than my wife and I ever had. If I’m alive, then there is hope.”
This Christmas, UGM will be serving up hope, as well as 3000 delicious meals to our neighbours, who might otherwise not get a meal. That’s 3000 plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and even pie. We don’t just want our community members to be well-fed this Saturday — we want them to make friends, feel loved and seen, and most importantly, feel like they belong.
“Some of the folks in our community have lost loved ones and are grieving; some people are experiencing addictions or homelessness and might be missing family who are far away, or don't talk to them anymore,” says UGM Spokesperson Nicole Mucci, “So our heart for this Christmas Meal is that they feel included, welcomed, and the love of family even if they’re not with their own.”
Almost 5,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Metro Vancouver. This Christmas might be the first for some, like Hassan, that is filled with joy, hope and laughter. We are looking forward to the connections that will be made at this event, as well as bringing warmth to our community this cold and wet December.
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, December 9th, 2023
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive at 10:45am
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 the Christmas Meal between 10:30 AM & 12:30 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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