FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Thursday, December 1st 2022 –
UGM Celebrates 82nd Christmas Meal
Chilling cold and rising stigma can’t hold back love and connection around the Christmas table
(Vancouver, B.C.) – Dean Kurpjuweit, Union Gospel Mission’s new president, is spending his first Christmas in Vancouver at UGM. Along with nearly two hundred volunteers and staff, he will be extending warmth and care to members of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community, as UGM serves between 2,500 and 3,000 Christmas meals.
“Christmas symbolizes love and connection,” Kurpjuweit shares. “I’m honoured to be here for this incredible Christmas meal, that infuses joy into the community and lets people know that they matter and belong here. Our shared humanity is stronger than the stereotypes that threaten to isolate and divide us.”
Hunkering down against the chilly danger of the winter weather isn’t all that the DTES community has been battling with these days. Widespread stigma and stereotypes have been on the rise against folks experiencing homelessness and struggling with addiction.
At a time of year when people living on the street often feel the most isolated and alone, the last thing they need is to feel even more unwanted and excluded from our communities. That’s why UGM is welcoming community members in from the cold around their Christmas table for a delicious turkey meal with all the fixings, where they can connect with their neighbours and outreach staff over conversations that can lead to life transformation.
“What truly changes lives is relationships,” says Harold Melbourne, a Canadian veteran and Ministry Support Worker at UGM. “During my recovery, UGM was a safe place. It was a light. There are so many people out there who have broken stories, broken lives, and broken dreams. Every day, I’m meeting people like me, and I get to pass along hope, and speak life and love into the darkness. Every life matters. Everyone has potential. Everyone can be reached. You just have to reach out with love and authenticity.”
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive at 10:00am
Where: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver
- Please RSVP to email@example.com
- 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 AM & NOON, and we request arrival at 10 AM if possible.
- 1800 lbs of Turkey
- 750-800 lbs Mashed Potatoes
- 250 litres Gravy
- 750-800 lbs Vegetables
- 260 litres Cranberry sauce
- 575 Pies
Media Communications Specialist
Cell: (778) 999-3985
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 80 years. Through its eight locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of UGM is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of those who are vulnerable, and come alongside people who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.
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