A team of Couples for Christ (CFC) ANCOP Vancouver members dedicated whole morning of March 14, 2015 to feed around 250 hungry poor residents of Downtown East Side (DTES) in Vancouver. The beneficiaries were mostly homeless individuals who lined up the block to avail of the free meals served at the Door Is Open centre.
The Door Is Open is the social arm of the Archdiocese of Vancouver that oversees the archdiocese’s drop-in centre in the heart of DTES. Every day with the help of generous groups, businesses, and individuals the Door Is Open opens its doors to hundreds of patrons offering them food, clothing, and services such as Alcoholic Anonymous, Seniors Wellness, and women’s group among others. The patrons are welcomed with warm meals, offered temporary shelter away from the cold or heat of the streets, and treated with respect and dignity. Those who come in include young and old individuals with drug and alcohol issues, physical and mental impairments, and the seniors in the vicinity.
ANCOP Vancouver’s partnership with the Door Is Open is consistent with its effort to do its mission of responding to the needs of the poor in the local setting. Commencing this April, it is a half-day commitment every second Saturday of the month involving members of CFC and ANCOP volunteers in Greater Vancouver.
ANCOP has been building shelter for homeless families or those living in destitute condition, sending poor children to school, and providing humanitarian relief to victims of calamities over the past 17 years. The beneficiary families are in the Philippines, India, and various countries in Africa.
For this Saturday, 22 CFC ANCOP members from the different areas in Greater Vancouver volunteered to come. In high spirits, everyone helped prepare and serve soup, sandwiches, donuts and beverage. The team entertained the patrons with song and went around chatting with many of them.
The volunteers expressed how overwhelmingly grateful they are for this chance to share life’s blessings to the less fortunate. For all of them this was a way of putting faith into action.
“It is an awesome and beautiful feeling to serve and I am willing to do it again. I’m so happy to be called for this service!” shared Mel Juanima.
Contributor: Alwin Yambao, Greater Vancouver Area ANCOP Coordinator