We are so grateful to Our Place’s Donors and Supporters!

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all the kind and compassionate donors and supporters that have helped give hope and belonging to those in need. Below are just a few examples that warmed our hearts. Each month, we will update this page to give special recognition to those who have made a major difference in the lives of those we serve.

We are also grateful to the organizations that provide us funding through grants. These generous supporters nourish many lives and making a true difference in our community.

Updated – Please see the list of 2022 Great Grantors here.

January

Our Place Society is blessed to have so many philanthropic farmers supporting the community centre kitchen and allowing our chefs to serve healthy and delicious meals. Farmers like Jason Austin of Gatton House Farm. Each week during the growing season, Jason or one of his volunteers drop off freshly harvested vegetables that, in 2023, would cost $18,000 in the stores. Or our friends at The Farmland Trust Society, who donate approximately $25,000 in delicious organic fruit and vegetables every year. Thanks so much to all the farmers and their farms, big and small, on the Saanich Peninsula and surrounding area, who shared their bounty of fresh vegetables and fruit!


We recognize John Close for his kindness, compassion, and long-standing commitment to supporting vulnerable community members at Our Place Society. May he rest in peace.


December

Our Place is thrilled to receive $4,500 from The Victoria Commandery of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. The funds enabled Our Place to purchase five wireless digital radios for the Communications Equipment Upgrade Project.  The two-way radios are used by support workers in our downtown community centre and are a cost-effective alternative to expensive cell phone usage plans. They’re used daily by support workers, on a dedicated radio frequency.


Thanks to our friends at the Victoria Commandery of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller and The Times Colonist for a generous grant of $30,000.  The grant enables our Food Services Program to buy protein and fruits and vegetables to serve nutritious meals to marginalized folks in Victoria in our community centre dining hall.


Thanks to the terrific people at Peninsula Co-op, Our Place’s Food Services Program was able to purchase an industrial-sized hand mixer for $1,150. In the chilly winter months, the cooks in the dining hall will be able to make hearty and warm soups for family members!


The grassroots community foundation Mazon Canada in Toronto provides hundreds of food grants across the country.  Our Place’s Food Services program was one of the recipients! Thanks Mazon Canada for the $2,900 grant.


November

Our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Shaw Family Foundation for its valued contribution of $30,000 to support the 55+Club Program and the wonderful senior club members.


Thanks to United Way Southern Vancouver Island for providing Our Place with a generous grant of $49,000 through the Government of Canada’s Community Service Recovery Fund. The donation contributes to Our Place’s ability to provide important capacity building to Our Place’s Community Centre on Pandora Avenue.


We gratefully recognize Dr. Robert (Robin) Krause for his dedicated commitment to easing the burden of marginalized community members over many years. He served as chair of the Open Door Ministry for 10 years and was instrumental in the creation of Our Place Society through an amalgamation with the Upper Room. He continued his staunch support throughout his life and left a generous legacy gift to enable Our Place Society to continue to assist those most in need.   His love lives on.


Thanks so much to the Rotary Club of Victoria for their generous support of $6,800 for our Street Paramedic Team Program. The grant allows us to purchase vital lifesaving paramedical supplies and two-way radios for the paramedic team.


Our heartfelt thanks go out to Paul and Asha Arora and family for their many contributions to support the most vulnerable.  This year they once again celebrated the birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, with a large donation of hoodies for family members.


October

Special thanks to those who participated in the recent Royal Victoria Marathon. Runners who chose to run on behalf of Our Place helped raise over $4,400 this year!


We’ve had some great business and community groups join us at our community centre kitchen to sponsor and serve a meal in October including teams from Chateau Victoria, the Hotel Assn. of Greater Victoria, the Huntington manor and an Our Place volunteer Brooke McCunn booked a meal service for her family. Next month, the theme is education and training centres in town.


Thanksgiving meal services were supported heavily by the Philanthropy Team. We organized a lunch service on October 3, staffed by many of the region’s business, community, political and media leaders. On October 5 the Dodd family came in to serve their annual Thanksgiving Dinner. They are booked to serve their Christmas dinner in December.


In October, we continued to deliver the final Hungry Hearts auction prizes and thank you messages to our donors. Excited to announce that the Delta Ocean Pointe has already provided us a date for the 2024 gala, Saturday, September 21.


This month, sponsors began confirming their support for the next Coldest Night of the Year campaign, including Big Wheel Burger, Proline, Paladin and the Times Colonist. Click here for the sponsorship package and your chance to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with poverty and homelessness.


September

Empathy Through Art and Film: Local Artists Raise Awareness and Over $8,000 for Our Place Society – Heartfelt thanks to Tanya Bub and Ross Whelan for partnering with Our Place Society to enhance understanding and support for those experiencing homelessness and poverty. Tanya created a safe space to encourage members of the street community to share their stories with her sculpture Sitting with Grace. Ross Whelan from Haus of Owl Ross then created a powerful documentary that challenges preconceptions, invites viewers to confront their biases, and honors courage, resilience, and strength. Over $8,000 and a collection of art supplies were collected during the exhibit. The documentary will air again on September 30th at Haus of Owl.


As people return to work and school, our sponsored meals campaign slowed a little in September but we still saw some wonderful groups come in to help with meal services. Special thanks to Proline, the Sovereign Order of St. John, Khalsa Aid, Thrifty foods as well as Mayfair Optometric who sponsored and are coming in to serve dinner during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


September went from Hungry Hearts to Heartfelt thanks as our community helped to raise over $215,000 from our culinary broadcast, auctions and signature fundraising gala. The money raised will be directed towards Our Place’s food security programs with a focus on purchasing protein for the over 1,200 nutritious meals we serve.


We are proud to acknowledge the group of volunteers who led the Hungry Hearts committee this year. They are Event Chair: Ian Batey, Culinary Chair: Takashi Ito, Colin Gilroy, Austin Lu, Kristin Moore, Melissa Mouat, Veronica Osborn, Steven Seltzer, Chad Stewart, Kent Verge, Dr. Fred Voon, Alison Wedekind, Christine Yam


Special thanks to those who voted for New Roads-Our Place as the favourite charity in this year’s Best of the WestShore awards. We are one of three finalists, with the winner being named on October 27.


Three podcasts were unveiled in September. Thank you to Diana Gibson, Executive Director of the Community Social Planning Council, Ian Batey, Executive Director of Police Victim Services and Victoria Municipal Councillor Dave Thompson for helping us to educate and inform our community.


A big shout-out to the Provincial Employees Community Service Fund! Provincial employees in BC pledged close to $15,000 to Our Place through their Donor’s Choice Award campaignThank you so much for your continued support! A portion of the funds will support our Vets for Pets program and various other programming needs.  We are also grateful that PECSF have invited members of Our Place down to participate in their kick-off event featuring a selection of local charities, raffles, games, and other activities to spread awareness and support for the PECSF campaign.


August

We enjoyed meeting the Lake Hill Lawn Bowling team in August who held a fundraiser for Our Place and raised over $2,300 which will go right to our meals programs.


As part of our sponsored meal theme month campaigns, we invited in several law firms to serve a breakfast, lunch or dinner in our community centre; including BHM Law, League Williams Green & Helme, Carfra Lawton LLP and the Broadmead Legal Centre. In September we welcome health and wellness groups and in October, hospitality businesses and associations.


As of the end of August, we have over 200 auction prizes donated for our upcoming Best of the Region Hungry Hearts auctions. This month we received donations from such wonderful businesses as Cut and Hill Jewelry, Helmecken Veterinary Clinic and Crescendo For Hair. The auction will be available for viewing on August 26 and bidding begins on August 28 at www.hibid.ca

Filming has completed for the Hungry Hearts broadcast. Thanks to Roll Focus for donating part of the cost of producing the show through a sponsorship. The show will air on CHEK on September 2 at 6pm

We have raised over $70,000 in sponsorships for the hungry Hearts campaign. The larger contributions come from PwC, Odlum Brown, Coast Capital, Concert Properties, Sisco and the Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation


Our recycle campaign in partnership with the Bottle Depot and Pattison Media has raised over $10,000. Proof that event the smallest donation has an impact.


Celebrating Creativity, Connection and Compassion – Sitting with Grace

Heartfelt thanks to Tanya Bub for partnering with Our Place Society to increase empathy and support for vulnerable community members. Her incredible art show includes an array of circus-themed sculptures, skillfully crafted from driftwood and upcycled materials, including Sitting with Grace. It runs until September 10th at the Gage Gallery on Bastion Square. Admission is free and all are welcome. To amplify the message, a documentary is being created by Ross Whelan and Eric Hinch with Haus of Owl. The inaugural screening will be at Gage Gallery on September 9th at 7 p.m. Come and see! Doors open at 6, seating is limited. Our gratitude goes out to these gifted artists for their creative and insightful work highlighting the humanity of those on the streets, and the heartbreaking losses that they regularly endure. We also thank everyone who has visited the gallery and made financial and in-kind donations of art supplies for Our Place, as well as all at Gage Gallery. Together we are building momentum toward solutions!


In August, Great Canadian Casinos presented us with a cheque for $2,000 for a campaign they ran in the spring. The casino is looking at other opportunities to support OPS.


July

A big Thank you goes to Lindsay Neilson for creating a weenie roast and undergarment and hygiene donation Birthday drive for her husband Brian’s birthday. We would like to thank all family, friends and neighbours who participated and gave Our Place an amazing supply of much needed undergarments. Clothing and hygiene products. What an amazing gift idea, we are very grateful!!


Our heartfelt gratitude to the Lohn Foundation for its valued contributions to fund warm, nutritious meals. Thank you for your July gift which will go directly to feeding those in need.


Thank you to the Alasaly Law Group who have donating the costs of three days worth of meals at Our Place. Overall we have raised over $25,000 in sponsored meals this summer where last summer we raised $5,000. Much of that is from the businesses who have stepped forward to sponsor meals as part of our themed month campaigns.


We recognize Jean Ashworth for her generosity in supporting vulnerable community members over many years, and her bequest to continue to help others. Love lives on.


Shout out to the Thrifty Foods Community Action Fund for their generous donation of $5000 in support of our emergency meals program. Thank you for helping to feed our community. 


We are thrilled to receive $18,000, provided by the Stewart Fund through the Vancouver Foundation to replace 20 broken and outdated two-way radios. The radios are essential and cost-effective tools used by our support workers and paramedics to communicate quickly and effectively.


We  were able to provide family members with two special barbeque events in the Pandora St. courtyard in July; one courtesy Ron Neal with Remax and the other thanks to Sparta Financial and Something4Humanity.


We continue to receive some really wonderful Hungry Hearts auction donations come in. This month’s donations include a full “bed in a box from Dodd’s, a deluxe pet basket from Paws on Cook, a three-night stay at the Wickaninnish Inn and a one- year social membership at the Victoria Golf Club.


We have also received some fund-a-need donations in July related to our Hungry Hearts campaign to raise money for protein, including $15,000 from Samantha Dickie and her Viveka foundation.


Filming has been completed for the Hungry Hearts broadcast. Thanks to Roll Focus for donating part of the cost of producing the show through a sponsorship.


We celebrate Joyce Wolfe for her kindness and compassion.  Her contributions over more than two decades have made a real difference to Family Members in need.  We are honoured to be able to continue this valued support through a gift that she left in her will.


Thank you to Ian Batey, Executive Director of the Police Victims Services of BC and to Anne McIntyre, Founder, and Executive Director of Soap for Hope who sat down for a conversation as part of Our Place’s Heart of the Matter podcasts. Podcasts – Our Place Society


A huge thanks for the continued support of the Victoria Foundation!  The Victoria Foundation Community Grant Program gifted Our Place with a $20,000 grant through the Funke-Furber Fund and the Marymax Fund.  It helps us provide important capacity building and training for staff during the up- coming new entrance protocols at the 919 Pandora Avenue Community Centre.


June

We are receiving some very special donations from local businesses and supporters for the upcoming Best of the Region auction.
In June we received a private flight to Tofino and back, certificates for the Malahat Skywalk, a kayak exploration of historic Victoria Harbour for two a gift certificate for Max Furniture and dinner for two at Aura Restaurant at the Inn at Laurel Point.


Thanks to Country Grocer for hosting a great barbeque event at their Royal Oak locations. We had some great interactions with their customers and raise nearly $1,000 one hot dog at a time.


June was Real Estate Month for Our Place. The following local real estate groups have booked and will be serving a meal at our community centre: The Agency, Colin Gilroy and Royal Lepage, Ron Neal and Remax Generation. July will be construction and Development month and in August we will see some great law firms providing hope and belonging to the people we serve.


We extend heartfelt thanks to the thoughtful donors who have included Our Place Society in their wills, along with loved ones.  We are honored to be a trusted part of your legacy, and grateful for the difference that legacy gifts make to those most in need of support. Love lives on.


Special thanks to The Natural Hair Salon and Panago Pizza. Their contributions to Handsome Day helped make this a very special day for the over 50 guys who came in to our community centre to get a great cut, some pampering supplies and a delicious pizza lunch.


In June we received a donation of over 1,000 pairs of socks from Outway socks! A much needed resource at Our Place.


We are so grateful to the eight top chefs who will be competing at our Hungry Hearts culinary gala in September. In June, they all met at Delta Hotels by Marriott Ocean Pointe Resort to find our what special ingredients they will be working with this year. Watch for the gala menu at the beginning of July. Tickets for the gala are on sale at www.hibid.ca.


May

Thank you to BC Transit who have donated bus tickets to Our Place in May to support the people we serve, as they travel for vital appointments


So grateful to Brown’s Social House in Uptown for holding a pancake breakfast in support of Our Place on Saturday, June 10. All are welcome


Also in June, Country Grocer will be holding a barbeque lunch at their Royal Oak location in support of Our Place. Please join us on Friday June 23.


In May, Our Place CEO Julian Daly was invited to present to local community groups: The Cordova Bay 55+ Club, The Victoria Lion’s Club, The Victoria Newcomer’s club and discuss issues facing our community. Thank you to those groups and to others who would invite us to advocate on behalf of those struggling with poverty, homelessness, mental and physical challenges in our region.


A bountiful thank you to Greater Victoria Savings Credit Union (GVSCU) for supporting our garden mentor program at Our Place’s New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community.  The grant will allow residents to learn skills in growing an edible garden, the basics of beekeeping, and many other practical skills.


To nurture seeds of hope and belonging, (literally!), several donors sponsored one of the raised bed gardens each at Albina’s permanent residence as an outdoor activity for the residents  there. Thanks to Dianne Flood, and Paula and her yoga friends, and Nancy Davis, for their tribute gifts that are helping people bloom where they are now planted.


Three donor families are underwriting the 55+ Club seniors’ inclusion worker salary, club outings, transportation and food budget this year. Many thanks to the Andersons, Kings and Windsors for ensuring this program continued this year! Here, one of the club members is enjoying a thoughtful moment at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria this month.


Our Place Society exists because an army of compassionate citizens care about those who are experiencing hardship. This month we celebrate Al Crippen for his dedicated commitment to creating a more inclusive, caring community.  Al and his late wife Carolyn have supported vulnerable people through Our Place Society and the Dandelion Society for a very long time as volunteers and donors. He was a founding member of the Dandelion Society and served on the board throughout its 10 years of operation. He volunteered at Our Place Community Centre for 15 years.  He was most committed to supporting family members in spiritual care, and the move to include all faiths and backgrounds more fully. He welcomed many with warm drinks and treats at the snack bar as well.   Al fondly remembers celebrating several birthdays with sponsored meals at the Centre on Pandora. He continues to generously support Our Place and the Dandelion Outreach Program every month. We warmly salute Al and Carolyn’s kindness and generosity.


April

May is Tech Month at Our Place. Thank you to the following locally based technology businesses who are sponsoring and serving meals in our dining hall this month: Ring Partner, LeadPages, PilotHouse, Rebase and Redbrick. June will be Real Estate Month.


A big thanks to SPARC BC, who have awarded Our Place a grant to help with capacity building as we plan to redesign the community centre’s entrance and referral protocols, that are in the planning stages now.


We’d like to say a big thank you to the groups who’ve made bulk donations of items and clothing recently, including: the Community Women’s Initiative (CWI), the 4th Victoria Pathfinders Girl Guides group, and the UVic UNICEF chapter.  While we can’t thank everyone who makes donations-in-kind individually, please know that we’re so grateful to every single person who drops off clothing, hygiene supplies and other items. Thank you for your continued support!


Love Lives On this April as we graciously acknowledge Eleanor Taylor’s generous bequest to Our Place. Eleanor was born in England. She worked in Canada and the USA as a draftsperson before retiring and working holidays on cruise ships. She loved animals especially her own cats and dogs.  Her thoughtful gift will make a real difference to vulnerable community members. (Please use Eleanor’s picture as attached)


We recognize Max White’s generous support to Our Place Society for many years, and his legacy gift. He was born in Vancouver and later lived in Portland and Victoria. His career was in the travel industry. He and his wife Freda were married for 56 years, with four children and19 grand and great-grandchildren. He was an active volunteer with several organizations. His many contributions enriched the community.


March

A big shout out to The Provincial Employees Community Services Club (PECSF) who have made a major contribution to our food security programs. We’ve also been invited to provide a blog post to inform their members of our services and where their contributions will go. Click here to read.


A big thank you thanks to businesses who have already donated to our Hungry Hearts auction with amazing items such as two tickets to a BC Lions Game and a 2023-24 season Victoria Royals hockey game experience in the Wilson’s Transportation Luxury Box (up to 12 people). If you’re interested in donating an auction item or experience, please click here.


We’re extremely grateful to all of our recent Heart of the Matter podcast guests, including: Dr. Somers, Le-Ann Dolan and Dr. Voon. Watch and listen for new podcasts from Victoria Mayor Alto, Diana Gibson, Executive Director of the Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, and more.


Huge thanks to Big Wheel Burger, for their support during Coldest Night of the Year, and for making Our Place one of their featured charities of the month. They’ve donated $5000, while will go towards Coldest Night fundraising and be split between Our Place and PCFSA.


The UVic Commerce Students Society recently held their annual 5 Days event and raised an incredible amount on behalf of Our Place – nearly $9000! Huge thanks to this fantastic team of students for all their hard work!


Our new permanent housing site at Albina is now open! We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the groups who donated Tenant Starter Kits, to help our new residents settle in: the IODE Boundary Bay Chapter, First Metropolitan Church, Broad View United, Victoria Multifaith Society, St John’s United Church, Christ Community Church, Esquimalt United, Two Saints Church, St Peter’s Anglican Church, Central Saanich United, the Cooley family, Victoria Harvest Church, Abstract Property Development, and Peninsula Co-op.


February

Thank you to all our fantastic supporters who participated in Coldest Night of the Year. Your willingness to brave the chilly temperatures to walk in support of those experiencing homelessness and poverty is truly inspiring. Between downtown and the Westshore, we had more walkers registered than any other location in Canada, and together you raised over $170,000! We can’t thank you enough for your support and we hope to see you again next year.


We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Kris and Mrs. Pushpa Tangri for their valued support to vulnerable community members at Our Place.  They donated generously for many years, and then left a gift in their will to continue to help those most in need. Compassionate community members make the wrap-around support services offered by Our Place Society possible.


Thank you to everyone who donated floor hockey items to the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community. Hobbies and physical activity play a critical role in recovery, and the men at New Roads are so grateful that you’ve supported them on their journey.


January

As we begin a new year, Our Place would like to thank our Advisory Cabinet who act as ambassadors with the purpose of helping raise awareness, philanthropic opportunities and community profile for the organization. The 2023 advisory cabinet consists of: Ian Batey, Angela Bassage, Trudi Brown, Colin Gilroy, Pete Jando, Lee King, Kyle Loree, Peter Powell, Terry Scandrett, Mike Shannon, Maureen Shaw, Jennifer Vornbrock, John Wilson.


Our Place will be launching a new podcast series in February. Heart of the Matter will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of the incredibly challenging work that Our Place does, but also engage with community leaders around real and lasting solutions. We are grateful to those community leaders and Our Place champions who have agreed to participate including Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, MLA Grace Lore, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, organizers from Moms Stop The Harm and Our Place’s Housing and Wellness Directors. Stay tuned!


Legacies of Love:
We honor Audrey Iris Male (nee Dickens) of Sidney for her generous, compassionate support to vulnerable community members. Audrey made regular contributions to Our Place Society for many years and included a bequest in her will to continue to help those in need.

Helen Treva O’Brien (nee Bryan) of Victoria often shared that it distressed her greatly to think of people sleeping in the cold without enough to eat. Her donations and bequest to Our Place Society lighten the burden of those struggling with poverty and homelessness.


December

We are grateful for the continued support of Patrick Stewart. His generous donation of $15,000 (through the Vancouver Foundation and McLean Foundation) helped support our Paramedics and bought Christmas gifts for family members at our transitional housing sites. We are also grateful to the Peninsula Co-Op who helped to provide Christmas stockings to the residents of our shelter locations!


Thanks to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, we received a generous donation of $30,000 for Food Services! And a special thank you to our good friends at the Sovereign Order of Jerusalem, who will kindly administer the TC Christmas Fund this year.


We received some incredible gifts from local businesses over the holiday season, including significant donations from Waves Veterinary Hospital, Ron Neal and Royal Lepage, the Dodd’s Furniture family, Jagg Asset Management, Electric Edge Systems Group and Wilson’s Transportation who held a “Stuff the Bus” campaign at a December Victoria Chamber event.


November

A big thank you to the students of the Camosun College Criminal Justice program who stopped by Our Place this week to drop off dozens of bags of clothing. Just in time for the snowfall.


Thank you to the CBC Victoria, West Coast Reach Choir, First Met United Church, Our Place volunteers and our guest readers, Jack Knox of the Times Colonist and Joe Perkins of CHEK News. They will all be pulling together to present the live reading of A Christmas Carol on Friday December 9. Tix still available.


After attending the recent Open House for donors and neighbors at the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community this fall, a generous couple made the decision to provide a gift in support of a Cultural Connections program there to expand resources for Indigenous residents and programming.

Joan Wiggins, Senior Investment Counsellor for RBC Phillips, Hagar, North Investment Counsel Inc., and her husband Graham Lamb, a personal trainer who works out of Oak Bay Recreation Centre, were very moved by what they saw and heard on the tour with staff and residents.  They are committed to reconciliation efforts locally and wanted to help. They requested a grant from their donor-advised Opportunity Fund held at the Victoria Foundation and added a flow-through top up.  The generous donation will support weekly workshops with elder Frazer Smith, a drum-making workshop, honoraria for visiting elders, and materials for reconstruction of the sweat lodge on site at New Roads.

They want to help residents learn about and reclaim their heritage, strengthen pride and identity, bolster healing from past trauma and forge a substance-free path forward.

Our Place presented them with orange shirts, pictured below, featuring a design by New Roads graduate Patrick Tatoosh, on National Truth and Reconciliation Day. Hych’ka!


Continuing a relationship that spans more than 50 years, the United Church of Canada Foundation featured Our Place Society as a recommended choice in their annual Gifts with Vision catalogue for the coming year. The OPS seniors program was highlighted on the back cover as a choice for individual donors; copies were distributed to 3,000 United Churches across Canada. The Foundation then collects those donations and sends them to OPS quarterly, as a part of their social justice mission. Former United Church emeritus, Allan Saunders, is the Our Place Society board chair. We appreciate this ongoing connection to people living their values through their care and compassion.


We have already received some wonderful sponsorship commitments for the 2023 Coldest Night of the Year walks. Thank you to Big Wheel Burger, Paladin Security, Proline Property Management, Aon Reed Stenhouse, Coastal Community Credit Union, the Times Colonist and used Victoria.

And in the WestShore: Slegg Building Materials, Work Link BC, F45 Training, Keycorp, Auxilium Mortgage Corporation and the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorship opportunities still available. Contact stevens@ourplacesociety.com


Thank you to BC Transit for donating hundreds of bus tickets to Our Place. We provide them regularly to people without means who need to get to medical appointments, housing appointments, interviews, and for access to meals, clothing and shelter.


Our Place was the recipient of Forge Training Victoria’s Deadlift Competition. They raised over $8,000 which will go right to our meal services. As we continue to feel over 1,000 meals each day to those in need.


In November, we had some wonderful community groups sponsor and serve meals out of our 919 Pandora community centre kitchen. They include: Sysco, Sparta Finance, SKAL Victoria, Khalsa Aid, Avi Sirlin and friends and the Camosun Hospitality program.


With the 2022 harvest completed by Farmlands Trust and 12,912 pounds of fresh local produce grown at Newman farms on the Peninsula, a milestone was reached that we invite you to share in celebrating. Achieving their goal set this year, the talented team of Farmlands Trust Society has provided 102,685 pounds to Our Place Society kitchens, valued at $315,660 from 2014 to date!


October

Thank you to everyone who voted for Our Place’s New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community in the WestShore Chamber’s Best of the WestShore Awards. We are grateful to the municipality of View Royal for their ongoing support of our commitment to addiction recovery.


Continuing a relationship that spans more than 50 years, the United Church of Canada Foundation featured Our Place Society as a recommended choice in their annual Gifts with Vision catalogue for the coming year. The OPS seniors program was highlighted on the back cover as a choice for individual donors; copies were distributed to 3,000 United Churches across Canada. The Foundation then collects those donations and sends them to OPS quarterly, as a part of their social justice mission. Former United Church emeritus, Allan Saunders, is the Our Place Society board chair. We appreciate this ongoing connection to people living their values through their care and compassion.


In October, the Hotel Association 0f Greater Victoria stopped by to serve breakfast at our downtown community centre and presented their annual cheque in support of our vital programs and services. So grateful for the partnership with our local hospitality sector.


Thank you to Forge Training on Johnson St. In October they held their sixth annual deadlift competition with all proceeds going to Our Place. They raised over $8,000! So grateful for a giving fitness community.  www.forgevictoria.com


September

In September, two new legacy gifts were received by Our Place – gifts that are already helping us nourish hope, dignity, belonging, and change for our family members. We remember Audrey Hiscock, a faithful supporter for many years who named our charity as the beneficiary of her tax-free savings account. Her thoughtful planning made for an efficient, straight-forward gift that has extended her compassion beyond her lifetime to continue to touch the lives of others. We also remember Larry Wagner, who named Our Place Society as a beneficiary in his will. He used to walk each morning and meet people on the street who were experiencing homelessness, poverty, and substance abuse disorder. Instead of passing them by, he engaged them in conversation, and this ultimately shaped his decision to leave a legacy gift. Now, his kindness is still helping others. We are honoured to carry on our work in the spirit of these two caring individuals.


As shown on the back cover page of the Times Colonist wrap on September 16, Our Place Society is extremely grateful for the incredible sponsors, talented chefs, generous local auction donors, participating guests and the Board, and Hungry Hearts committee who attended our Hungry Hearts gala on Sept. 10th, and to CHEK TV and Roll. Focus for working with us to broadcast a half hour television show on Sept 3. Because of your shared efforts, “family members” or guests to our various locations will be enjoying a nourishing meal as they come in from the cooler, wet weather this fall and winter. Maree says it best on behalf of us all here. Special shout outs to our Lead sponsor and MC from PwC, auctioneer Tony Joe, and musical guests the Wes Carroll Trio for adding their talents to the evening.


August

Fr. Garth Millar, who passed away last year, kindly included a bequest to Our Place Society in his estate plans. Now, his heartfelt sense of compassion for others is still touching lives. He was once a securities broker who followed his heart to a Master of Divinity degree from the Vancouver School of Theology, becoming an ordained Priest and serving at Alert Bay, Nimpkish, and St. Barnabas Church in Victoria. He and his wife Joan were long-time supporters of Our Place. We remember them and are truly grateful.


Our Place’s July Bottle Drive was a huge success thanks to you! An incredible $12,438 was raised for Our Place in the month of July thanks to the Bottle Drive. All money raised is going towards Our Place’s vital food security programs as we see food prices rise dramatically. Money earned from recyclables dropped off at the 94 Talcott Bottle Depot Charity Bin after July will support both Our Place and the Diverters Foundation.


Our thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the Hungry Hearts broadcast, Best of the Region auctions and culinary gala! Go to  https://www.ourplacesociety.com/events/hungry-hearts-2022/ for more.


We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the F & J Einstein Family Foundation, held at the Vancouver Foundation. This will be directed toward emergency meals. Thank you F & J Einstein Family Foundation! 


July

Ken Scott and his wife Andrée were fun-loving, community-minded people who enjoyed boating (and boat building), social gatherings, and square dancing.  Ken, who retired from the Royal Canadian Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, was also a talented saxophone player who played in local concert and jazz bands.  As a couple, they supported Our Place Society for many years, ultimately choosing to name our charity as a beneficiary in their will.  With that gift now received, we pause to remember the Scotts and be inspired by their legacy of kindness and compassion.


A participant in Our Place Society’s Music Therapy at New Roads program said it “helped me rediscover who I am as a musician, poet and artist; bringing joy and passion to a form of art I had forgotten about in my addiction.” Arts funding in the CRD provides multiple benefits – Vancouver Island Free Dailyhttps://youtu.be/l2ULKFYOWvk


Our New Roads Therapeutic recovery community was featured in this month’s PULSE magazine with 90,000 copies published and distributed across the region and online, created by our friends at the Victoria Foundation. Enjoy new photos by Derek Ford of the healing garden that benefactor Jaymac Fund through the Victoria Foundation provided for the residents here. And the subsequent story of a recovery house where six graduates live now, purchased thanks to the $1M received from three local families. It’s WORKING; graduates are employed or in school, and housed. Thank you to the lead donors and two dozen other philanthropists, on behalf of the men and their families who have a fresh start in life after doing transformative work during their residency at New Roads.


Thanks to so many people in our community who chose to recycle and support Our Place in July, we have raised well over $10,000 through our partnership with The Bottle Depot! Bottles and cans can still be dropped off in our bin outside of our New Roads Therapeutic Community, 94 Talcott Road in View Royal.


We are so grateful to everyone who helped us to create our Hungry Hearts broadcast in July. All filming has just been completed and will now be edited by Roll Focus.

The broadcast will air on CHEK TV on Saturday, September 3 at 6pm. Stay tuned!


Thank you to the Greater Victoria Riding Club who held their community event in July with all proceeds to Our Place. So many wonderful and giving groups in our community.


In July, Jiajia with Rotaract Victoria dropped their donation to Our Place. These great youth were able to raise $3,000 for Our Place by raffling off some cool prizes. Thank you to these future community leaders.


Community Foundations across Canada are a cornerstone of social profit investment for donors wishing to set up donor-advised anonymous granting to local charities. Our local foundation was born out of the need for supporting a soup kitchen in 1936, so is the second oldest in the country. We were thrilled to receive a grant from the fine folks at the Victoria Foundation in July.

In response to our application to their Community Grants stream, of $28, 121 for accreditation of a trainer and subsequent workshops in Mental Health First Aid, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, and changing internal procedures for updating Worksafe procedures across our various housing sites.


This month our Monthly Donors let us know what they appreciate about Our Place! Click here to see the Monthly Donor Survey Insights.


June

Thank you to the over 35 community leaders who joined us in June to discuss how we can support our community through spiritual care. It was a wonderful, interactive event and you can watch it here.


Proofreading, writing profiles, facilitating skills development and promoting the important work of Our WorkPlace is a labour of love of two exceptional women behind the scenes: Veronica Osborn and Heather Kohler. They have produced six editions of the Hire Ground newsletter, that highlight the People in Progress program  participants and staff, changing lives for the better. Their donations of time and talent is a ‘gift in kind” that we treasure, and we hope you read and enjoy too!


We are grateful for the years of support Jack Archer provided to Our Place Society during his lifetime.  He was a communitarian at heart who, along with his wife Clanell, chose to make a difference for others.  Mr. Archer kindly named Our Place Society as a beneficiary in his will, and now we celebrate the legacy of love he has left.   He is still helping to give a hand up to those who experience homelessness, poverty, and substance abuse disorder.


Two wonderful women, incredible visual artists, have issued a $25,000 Hungry Hearts matching challenge together this year. Ira Hoffecker and Samantha Dickie make room for philanthropy while also expressing their creative genius in their work, to connect to community impact.


May

Here are some wonderful May stories of giving and compassion:

We are grateful to the over 100 local businesses who donated to our Best of the Region auction in May, which will be unveiled in August as part of our Hungry Hearts campaign. So far we have golf, hotel and restaurant certificates, pet and people care packages, art leisure and garden items and more. If you would like to support our major fundraiser, email stevens@ourplacesociety.com


Sands Funeral Chapel Cremation and Reception Centre by Arbor Memorial continued their long-standing support of Our Place in May.  They donated $5,000 to our Dandelion outreach. This will help us to visit members of the homeless community where they are to provide snacks, counseling and support.


This month we recognize Sparta Finance and Something4Humanity who sponsor a meal on at the beginning of each month. On June 15, they will be hosting BarberQ, a barbeque lunch and an afternoon of haircuts for anyone in need at our Place, with support from Gibson’s Barbershop and School


Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Doreen Crawley, who passed away in December of last year.  For years, she and her husband Brian faithfully supported our charity—a tradition she continued after his passing in 2011.  Ultimately, Doreen chose to remember Our Place Society in her will, and now her legacy will continue to nourish hope, dignity, belonging, and change for those who need a hand up to a better life.  Now, it’s our turn to remember Doreen and be thankful for the dedication she and Brian felt toward the community we all share.


April

The following are some wonderful stories of April giving:

This month we recognize Second Harvest’ Emergency Food Security Fund. We are grateful for their support that enable us to serve 1,000 emergency meals each day. Thank you!


We were recently presented with a $5,000 donation from the UVic Commerce Student Society from their Five Days campaign. 5 Days is a national campaign that takes place across 20 participating universities.  The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness about homelessness and collect monetary donations for a local charity.  Thank you to Christina, Grace and their team!


We have just created a page to recognize our Great Grantors. Have a look

Watch for a profile of one of our grantors, the Big Wheel Burger Foundation in the upcoming Our Place Newsletter


We remember and thank Jessie Mantle, whose faith and sense of social justice underscored her long-time support of Our Place.  Jessie lived her values, volunteering as a way

 of expressing her caring and compassion for those experiencing poverty and homelessness—she used to volunteer at the Upper Room many years ago, and that spirit of dedication never left her.  Like many who feel strongly enough about a charity to volunteer, Jessie also financially supported our work.  What’s more, she took the natural next step

of naming Our Place Society as a beneficiary in her will.  As a result, her values will continue to touch others’ lives.  We are grateful for the meaningful legacy she has left.


We would like to the thank everyone from Khalsa Aid who have restarted their dinner campaigns at Our Place, cooking and serving a fantastic meal once a month for our family members. On top of that, they have just purchased and donated one of the two fridges needed at the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community!


The Numbers are in! For the second straight year, we have raised over $100,000 from the Coldest Night of the Year walk with all money going to our extended hours campaigns to keep our doors open until 9pm whenever possible.


As we wrap our 2021-22 fiscal year, we send a huge virtual hug to the Circle of Love members: the 1300 monthly donors who supplied Our Place with a steady source of

reliable funds for daily food, paramedic care, paying utility and water bills for needed showers and supplies and coordinating the volunteer programs and hiring of needed staff.

Monthly donors each contribute from $5 to $1000 a month, that grew to a heart-rending total of $472,000 from last April 2021 to March 31, 2022!


March

Here are some March stories of caring and compassion:

Thank you to Sobeys and Thrifty Foods for providing us thousands of dollars in

gift cards. This will be used to purchase much needed ingredients for our meals programs. Our Place serves over 1,000 meals each and every day.


We are humbled and inspired by the recent estate gifts we have received from John Carr, Ridley Carver, Richard Chalk, Jocelyne Manning, William Meier, and Judith Turner.  Each of these community-minded people chose to extend their values beyond their lifetime by leaving a gift to Our Place Society in their will in order to give a hand up to others.  Their kindness and compassion lives on and continues to touch our family members.  What a legacy to have!


BC Nurses make such a positive impact on our lives every day. Recently they gave even more. Thank you to the BCNU for inviting representatives of Our Place to speak to their members about our vital role in the community. Nurses also were a big part of the success of Coldest Night of the Year as they volunteered at our toque toss events and hosted a rest-stop during the walkathon.


Hungry Hearts 2022 has been confirmed for September! It will feature the return of the popular culinary competition and soiree as well as a broadcast on CHEK Television. Thank you to the sponsors who have stepped forward so far: PwC, Odlum Brown, Coast Capital, CHEK Television, PARC Retirement Living, Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation, Canadian Tire. Knappett Projects, Max Express and the Times Colonist! Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact stevens@ourplacesociety


February

Please join us in thanking the following February heroes in our community:

On Saturday, February 26, we saw our community come out in full support of the Coldest Night Night of the Year walkathon – both downtown and in the WestShore. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a heartwarming success. The national Coldest Night  campaign raises money and awareness for issues of poverty and homelessness. Over 165 cities and charities participated and only one other location had more participants then the Pandora-WestShore walks!

Pls watch video to find out why this campaign is so important: https://youtu.be/OSI_GWVCIhw

We would like to thank the following event sponsors:

Downtown: Big Wheel Burger, the BCNU, Cornerstone Properties, Paladin Security, Proline Mgt, Dr. Fred Voon, Brown Henderson Melbye, Times Colonist, Used Victoria

WestShore: Slegg Building Materials, Island Corridor Foundation, Worklink Employment Soc., F45 Training, Auxilium Mortgage, the WestShore Chamber of Commerce, Philip Bisset-Covaneiro, IG Wealth Mgt, Langford City Centre. And of course, a big thank you to our WestShore partner Pacific Centre Family Services Association.


Barbara Bos has financially supported our work every year for many years now and has named Our Place Society as a beneficiary in her will so others can be helped in the future.  She also shares her time and talent by knitting toques and sweaters for our family members to help get them through the cold winter months.  We are extremely grateful for how she lives her values.  The world needs more people like this. Thank you, Barb!


We are very thankful to WIL Digital and ICTC for the funding to hire a UVic Co-op student for our Fund Development Team. Dane has just been hired and will be a great addition. His focus will be building towards our first in-person Hungry Hearts gala in three years!


January

Here are some wonderful stories of giving to launch 2022:

A new handwashing station was installed in the dining hall at 919 Pandora, thanks to a generous grant from the Shaw Family Foundation, for this upgrade. The grant also helped to pay for the tents in the courtyard, to keep folks dry as they queue up for three meals a day and shifts for paramedic outreach workers to distribute masks and information.


In January, we raised over $30,000 for the Coldest Night of the Year walkathon. Of the 167 charities participating this year, this puts us in the top 20. Thank you to everyone who have sponsored, signed up and helped us to promote this vital campaign. There is still time to step up, form a team, sign up to walk, fundraise and walk in support of those struggling with poverty and homelessness in our region.


Thank you to the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, Odlum Brown, Coast Capital Savings, PARC Retirement Living, Canadian Tire, Knappett Projects, CHEK Television and the Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation who in January have confirmed their sponsorship and support of our Hungry Hearts 2022 campaign. Still some great sponsorships available.


Shout out to The Oak Bay Rotary, having just announced it raised over $12,000 with their recent raffle campaign. 1/3 Of the proceeds will be donated to Our Place. The Rotaract Club of Victoria have also just launched their raffle campaign in support of Our Place. Tickets can be purchased at rotaractvictoria@gmail.com


Pacific Design Academy will be donating its time and resources to creating a video for Our Place. Our Place was chosen from 50 local charities who applied. The decision was based on a presentation in January by two members of the Fund Development team.


We are grateful to Ben Salvatore.  He generously donated a vehicle to us through Donate A Car Canada (donatecar.ca/), a service that liquidates vehicles for charities.

Ben’s creative thinking and kindness has provided much-needed financial support to benefit our family members.  Thank you!


We are pleased to announce the completion of chapel renovations at the Drop-In Centre thanks to The United Church of Canada Foundation’s Living Spirit Fund. Their $8,000 Seeds of Hope grant for chapel renovations and volunteer support will enable us to enhance spiritual care for all at Our Place.

The Seeds of Hope granting program supports innovative, unique, and much-needed projects which enable congregations and other United Church-affiliated individuals and organizations to live out the New Creed’s call to seek justice, live with respect in creation and love and serve others. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website: unitedchurchfoundation.ca the United Church of Canada Foundation Seeds of Hope


The work as therapy and educational upgrading programs will expand in 2022 for residents of the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community, thanks to significant

donations from the 100 Women who Care Saanich Peninsula and Joan Wiggins and the RBC Foundation (donation of computer lab equipment), and

Bernie and Cairine MacDonald, in honour of Marj Tory, who believed “work is love made visible.”


Our first Honorary Life Membership in the Our Place Society was awarded in 2021 to our top donor and long-time supporter John McEown by our OPS Board Chair

Allan Saunders and Treasurer Andrea Jakeman-Brown. Were also nominated John for an Honorary Citizen of the City of Victoria, which he was awarded in October this year.


Thank you to the Dodd Family for sponsoring our Christmas dinner. We still couldn’t invite them in to serve but they still stepped forward to make sure it happened again this year.


Thank you to a couple culinary community leaders. Tutti, a food ordering app partnered with our restaurants and did a Christmas giveaway, resulting in 250 orders, which

meant a donation of $500 to Our Place Society. As well, Virtuous Pie donated $1 from every holiday pie sold out of our Victoria location to Our Place Society.


We are so grateful to the cast of our Christmas Carol dramatic reading in December. Thank you to the team from CBC radio and Victoria Chamber CEO Bruce Williams for makin

g Charles Dickens’ classic tale come to life again this year.


Gratitude to the team at 100.3 The Q stepped up again this Christmas to raise over $3,000 in cash and gift cards during their Christmas fundraising drive


FLT tripled almost the fruits of its labours this year through one of the hottest summers and wettest falls in recent memory. Our Place Society “family members” benefitted f

rom FLT’s in-kind donation of 17,381 pounds (7,891 kg) of 11 different types of locally grown field-to-table ingredients for those meals. The valuation of $62,685 for that labour, that several staff witnessed first-hand on a summer day tour of the Newman Farm site, is so appreciated.


Here are some wonderful stories of giving in November:

Thank you to those caring and compassionate people who have recently updated their will to include a gift to Our Place Society. Eileen Gormley is one such person who feels a bequest is a great way to extend her values and support beyond her lifetime.


Our Place Society honours the memory of the late Larry Wagner, the late Reverend Elizabeth Butler, and the late Mr. Arthur Whittingham. We have received bequests from each of these donors that will help us serve those experiencing homelessness, poverty, the opioid crisis, and mental health issues. Their kindness and caring for others will continue to be felt.


Major Gift donors Peter and Sandra Powell ensured that the Digital Job Seekers program continues at Our WorkPlace into 2022 and that Chromebooks stations will be installed in temporary housing locations for residents to connect to resources such as bc.211.ca. (pic on desktop).


Thank you to the McLean Foundation who are helping us to ensure that we are able to provide a small Christmas stocking to every resident of our housing and shelter sites.


We are grateful to CBC Victoria and the Canadian College of Performing Arts who are working together to create a wonderful virtual Christmas Carol Dickens reading.


Jordan from New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community received 2 spontaneous donations of guitars for Tom Lee Music! One for Art Therapy I and one for Music Therapy at TRC…


Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to sponsor a meal! As of December 1, we are able to invite groups back to serve meals to those in need. We are grateful Sparta Finance, Epicure, Carbon Cure, The Neal Estate Team, Dr. Jennifer Lee LIDA Homes, the Niven Family Khalsa Aid, and the Dodd Family!


In November Vic PD dropped off hundreds of pairs of socks in November to help those struggling with the inclement weather.


A huge thank you to Camosun College’s Criminal Justice program who gathered bags and bags and bags of clothing for the most vulnerable on our streets. We will get these donations sorted and ready to hand out.


We are grateful to the Coldest Night of the Year sponsors who have stepped up so far: Slegg Building Materials, The Times Colonist, Used Victoria, Paladin Security, DR. Fred Voon, WorkLink Employment Soc. Auxilium Mortgage and the Westshore Chamber of Commerce.


Here are some wonderful stories of giving in October.

This month we are sending thank you cards out to our Hungry Hearts donors and sponsors who maked this year’s signature fundraiser our most successful one yet. Scroll down or Click here for our Times Colonist 4 page wrap which includes a list of campaign contributors.

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TD Canada Trust has made significant contributions to Our Place Society in October, donating $10,000 as well as bags of clothing and supplies for those in need.

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In October we also received a City of Victoria Great Neighbourhood Grant for $5,000 toward the cost of cleaning supplies, janitorial contactors, a marquis tent and outdoor heaters.

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While the Dodd family were not able to join us in person this year, they sponsored the Thanksgiving dinner at Our Place and have committed to the same for Christmas!

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And a special thank you to everyone who contributed to our Thanksgiving campaign this year.

Your support meant that we could serve hundreds of delicious hot turkey meals with all the fixings to our family members this week. Lots of smiling faces, full bellies and warmed hearts were made possible because of your kindness and generosity.

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We thank the Victoria Foundation for their support through the Community Recovery Program, helping us upgrade our computers and remote connection so we can continue to provide best-practice services during the challenging conditions of COVID-19.  This grant was made possible thanks to the:Joan C. McCarter Foundation, Orion Fund, Humby / Frampton Fund, and Rapid Relief Fund.

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Thank you to the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller ~ Victoria Commandery for coming down to Our Place in October to present their donation. https://youtu.be/bhjML7KSI_w towards medical supplies for paramedics and foot care clinics. It will make a big difference for our health and safety programs

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So grateful to the Times Colonist and their readers for the donation to our meals+ campaigns which helps to ensure anyone who needs a meal gets one as well as access to our wrap-around services.

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Thank you to all of our Hungry Hearts sponsors and auction donors.