Volunteering at the Salvation Army Harbour Light

Ready to break a sweat on the food line!

Ready to break a sweat on the food line!

On Wednesday April 10th, the grade 12 Mini class spent their afternoon volunteering at the Salvation Army Harbour Light in East Vancouver.  Students first learned about the history of the shelter and then helped serve lunch to over 400 men and women of the downtown east side.  Afterwards, two individuals in Harbour Light’s addiction recovery program shared their stories with the class.  A donation was presented to the Salvation Army Shelter on behalf of McNair Mini School.  It is with sincere gratitude that we thank you for the generous contributions you made during the Winter Potluck that made this day possible. It was extremely eye opening, rewarding, and moving for all students involved.  Not only does this experience helps us all recognize our own privilege, it gives us the opportunity to extend a hand to those in need.  Thank you for supporting this invaluable learning experience!  Here are some more pictures and student reflections…

Khalid, Adam, Allison, and Justin

Khalid, Adam, Allison, and Justin

Volunteering at the shelter today was quite the experience. It was lots of fast paced and tiring work, but in the end it was all worth it. I was amazed when I learnt that we fed over 438 people in such a small amount of time. Everyone there was very appreciative, and we got thank yous, and rounds of applause every few minutes. Taking part in events like this really forces you to take a step back, to look at your own life; and appreciate everything you have.


Candace and Joanne keep up on the fast paced food line

Candace, Joanne, Kelsa and Tasha portioning out the lunch

In reflection of today’s voluntary service at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, I have realized that I am extremely blessed for the privileges I have today. Along with serving 438 people their lunches this afternoon; our mini-school class had the opportunity to listen to some personal stories and experiences of two employees at the facility. Their stories have made an impact on my life and also forced me to appreciate the things I take for granted. Overall, it was an amazing experience and there is truly no better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon with thirty of my closest classmates.


Allison and Andy serving water

Allison and Andy serving water

The privileges we have in our standard of living are so precious yet, it wasn’t until we spent the day at the Salvation Army Harbour Light Soup Kitchen that I truly realized how lucky we are. It was extremely saddening to witness the circumstances people in our society suffer through in order to meet their basic needs so I was glad I was able to help out with the lunch time service. I felt the whole experience to be greatly rewarding as the clients seemed to really appreciate the fact that youth are becoming so involved in volunteering. After listening to the heart wrenching stories of the two clients in recovery it really helped me value the opportunities I have in life and to never let any addiction whether it be substance abuse or shopping, take control of my life. I am very grateful for this opportunity 🙂


Justin and Adam serving apples and buns

Justin and Adam serving apples and buns

The trip to the Salvation Army was a unique opportunity that highlighted the many privileges we sometimes may take for granted. Depicting a world where your life can be taken away from you with the blink of an eye by the grasp of drugs and alcohol, the stories spoken by the affected were powerful, the message was clear, and the lessons were forever impactful. 


Action Shot of the girls keeping up on the fast paced food line!

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