SURREY — Norm Stork was thankful to receive a pre-Thanksgiving Day cheque in the amount of $3,000 for a weekly community dinner he helps serve.
“Our budget for food is around $25,000 a year, so this is a significant help,” said Stork, who has been involved in the Sunday Nite Community dinners at Gracepoint Church since they began 18 years ago.
The dinner event is the first to receive $3,000 from Go Dodge Surrey as part of the auto dealer’s new initiative to make a monthly donation to a deserving non-profit organization.
Each month for a full year, a winner will be selected by a panel of three judges, from nominations submitted by the community.
“We’re very thankful to businesses like this that have a sense of community and a sense of pride where they live,” Stork said last Thursday (Oct. 8) at the Scott Road dealership.
“As we help each other, everybody benefits.”
The community dinners at Gracepoint, located on King George Boulevard in South Surrey, serve between 180 to 240 people every Sunday starting at 5 p.m., Stork said.
The meal was first started by a psychiatrist who noticed her patients weren’t getting a great deal of nutrition and were under-socialized, so the meals continue to be relatively healthy and well-balanced.
“We open the doors and people come in starting at 5 p.m., and it’s become its own community,” he said. “We’ve had funerals, marriages, engagements, all kinds of events.”
Most of the volunteers don’t even belong to the church, he added.
“We have some boy scouts who come out, some high school students who need their volunteer hours, some different cultural groups and teams who come prepare meals. Bottom line is we have deaf people who come eat, street people, seniors who are lonely. It’s a wonderful, eclectic, crazy mix of people, and it’s actually a lot of fun.”
Applications for the monthly award from Go Dodge Surrey can be completed online at Gododgesurrey.ca/givesback. The award is open to community service providers, sports associations, social groups and other non-profits.
In addition to the $3,000 monthly award, anyone who submits a nomination will be entered into a draw for a prize of $2,000.