Kind Surrey 'gogos' get chopping for food bank (photos)

Kind Surrey ‘gogos’ get chopping for food bank (photos)

SOUTH SURREY — They arrived, sometimes in pairs or in small groups but most often alone, over the course of a half hour. And with them came vegetables and meats and spices and whatever tools of the trade that weren’t already there.

It was a big day for the women, grandmothers all, who comprise Oneness Gogos. Today they’d make soup – a heck of a lot of soup, as it turns out – that they’d freeze and then personally serve one week later to deserving clients of the Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank.

By the noon start time, the kitchen at Sources Women’s Place Resource Centre, on 20th Avenue in South Surrey, was a veritable beehive of activity. Grandmas running this way and that, sharp knives slicing through fresh ingredients, massive cauldrons gently simmering on the stovetop.

Of course, there was also a constant buzz of conversation and laughter. The topics varied, as they often do when a whole whack of people get together, but today there was one subject that seemed to dominate.

"Why did they pass it?" "I can’t believe Pete Carroll would call a play like that." "Maybe it was the offensive coach."

"They should have given it to Lynch." "Yep. Beast Mode."

Seems grandmothers have come a long way, baby. Rocking and knitting? Ha! These women are as far removed from that stereotype as Katy Perry is from shyness. And dude, they know their sports, as evidenced by the post-Superbowl talk on this Monday afternoon (Feb. 2).

Oneness Gogos
Members of the Oneness Gogos slice, peel and chop their way through a soup-making session last Monday (Feb. 2) at Sources Women’s Place Resource Centre in South Surrey. (Photo: Gord Goble)

Within an hour, most of the hard work was complete, and the entire facility basked in the aroma of "Share the Kindness Soup." It was a good time for a break, and a perfect time for all to adjourn to the covered patio for a quick talk from Denise Darrell, Sources’ Director of Women, Seniors and Community Services, who discussed the key components of her program.

This seemed like an opportune moment to ask Oneness Gogos founders Penny Cuddy and Debbie Riopel the most important question of all: Namely, what the heck is a Gogo? As it turns out, "gogo" is Zulu for "grandmother."

It all started in 2006, when noted Canadian humanitarian Stephen Lewis noted a disturbing trend while travelling through Africa. Apparently, the AIDs epidemic had hit young adults the hardest, killing many of them and leaving the grandparents to raise their grandchildren. He put out a call for Canadian grandmothers to bond with their African counterparts.

And the Gogo movement was born. There are currently 240 regional Gogo groups across the country, the White Rock/South Surrey affiliate dubbed the Oneness Gogos.

And certainly, doing unto others is not a new concept for this gaggle of giving grannies, whose group now includes more than 50 members. Since their 2008 launch, they’ve sewed, served tea, staged benefit concerts and live auctions, handed out hot chocolate on the streets, delivered baskets of toiletries, collected clothing, and much more. No energy crisis here.

Now, as part of what’s known as Random Acts of Kindness Week, it’s homemade soup, which has been frozen for a week and will be delivered today (Tuesday, Feb. 10) to the Sources food bank, located on 156th Street in South Surrey. Then, just 18 days later, it’s time for a fundraising dance on Saturday, Feb. 28 featuring local band The Timewalkers at the Crescent Beach Legion. The dual-purpose affair will benefit both the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Sources food bank.

Cuddy sums it up simply: "When you’re giving, you’re getting more than when you receive."

It’s a motto we should all live by. For more information on Oneness Gogos or any of their upcoming events, contact Penny Cuddy at 604-542-4775. The group’s umbrella foundation is online at Stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Goble@shaw.ca

See more photos on the Now’s Facebook page:

 

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society picked up their new van from Mainland Ford in Surrey Wednesday (Jan. 27, 2021) after the society’s old van was stolen and damaged. (Submitted photo: Dylan Van Rooyen)
After thrift store van stolen and damaged, Surrey dealership helps out firefighters’ charitable society

The Community Thrift Store van was stolen in South Surrey in December

In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
No ‘shotguns’ or banquets: Surrey golf courses pitch COVID-safe tournaments for 2021

With spring on the way, course operators book tournaments that will involve ‘tweaks and adjustments’

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $420,570 in grants for local arts, culture groups

This happened at Monday night’s council meeting, to cover 2021

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey’s public hearings are for being heard

Surrey public hearings of late have been devolving into something less than intended

Surrey native Dylan Kinley, shown here with the Douglas College Royals, has signed with the UFV Cascades. (Douglas Royals photo)
UFV Cascades sign Surrey native Dylan Kinley

Tweedsmuir grad, Douglas Royals star joins Abbotsford-based team for 2021-22

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read