submitted Photo Joseph Richard Group staff at the Sleep Out on Monday (Nov. 13), outside the S+L South Surrey restaurant on 24th Avenue.

VIDEO: Restaurant workers sleep on Surrey streets, raising more than $100K

Organized by Joseph Richard Group, the effort aims to raise money to help homeless youth

SOUTH SURREY — Close to 100 restaurant workers braved the cold and slept on Surrey streets Monday night (Nov. 13) to raise money and awareness for homeless youth.

They had raised more than $105,000 as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, and counting, as funds were accepted until Thursday.

JRG co-founder Ryan Moreno said he’s proud that 97 employees took time away from family and friends to spend a cold night on the street to help the less fortunate.

“It’s almost a shame to say that we ‘did it,’ only because we all had time to prepare and make a list of thing we needed: thermal underwear, maybe gloves, double socks, you know what I mean? And after doing all of that and preparing it still is uncomfortable,” said Moreno. “It’s uncomfortable laying on pavement for seven hours.”

While some employees were set to sleep outside JRG’s Maple Ridge and Langley locations, all 97 people moved to outside the chain’s S+L Kitchen & Bar in South Surrey as of 9:30 p.m. due to wind blowing the teams’ tarps away.

“Despite heavy rain and wind that caused havoc across the Lower Mainland, not one of them quit,” noted Moreno.

The idea for the company’s fundraiser began after Moreno and other staff participated in a larger Vancouver event last year and got a glimpse into what a night is like for those who are less privileged.

JRG is the only company holding its own Sleep Out event in support of the downtown event held three days later (on Nov. 16), in which Moreno and others will be participating again for the “Executive Edition.”

“Happy to do that, so yeah, we’re doing it again,” Moreno laughed. “Twice in one week.”

As for money raised, Moreno said he is speechless.

“I think as of today it’s still climbing, we’re over $111,000 now,” he said Wednesday.

homelessphoto

See also: ‘Sleep Out’ fundraiser at three restaurants for employees of Surrey-based JRG chain

In future years, Moreno hopes to have hundreds of people participate in the company’s Sleep Out.

“Covenant House has a statistic that 700 to 1,000 youth are sleeping outside in Vancouver on any given night… so maybe next year, maybe the year after, we’re able to get that many people to participate in our event and just sort of show that solidarity, and I just imagine the impact of what that would look like,” he said.

The goal is not just to raise funds, Moreno added, but also raise awareness.

“Definitely the awareness is out there,” he said. “So, I think mission accomplished as far as that.”

Covenant House Vancouver says it provides shelter, food, clothing and counselling to 1,400 young people every year. Because Covenant House is 94 per cent privately funded, its Sleep Out events play a critical role in supporting its youth Crisis Program, which provides 35 beds for males and 24 beds for females.

“Our work, and the support of companies like the Joseph Richard Group, make a tremendous difference in the lives of street youth in BC,” said Krista Thompson, Covenant House Vancouver’s executive director in a release. “I want to thank everyone at JRG. We admire their commitment and creativity, and encourage their friends, families and patrons to support this worthwhile cause.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, visit any JRG location, or go to the JRG Sleep Out donation page (jrg.ca/sleepout). For every $50 donated, JRG is providing the donor with a $25 JRG gift card. For any donation of $1,000 or more, JRG will offer dinner for up to six guests, hosted by JRG Director of Culinary Operations Chef Matthew Stowe (Top Chef Canada winner) or JRG Corporate Chef David Jorge (MasterChef Canada winner).



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey council endorses another five-year term for Newton BIA

BIA set to increase annual levy from $400K to $500K a year, keeping a focus on safety

‘Big piece’ of planned Glades’ work delayed in new Surrey budget

Parking lot completed, but gatehouse on hold at popular South Surrey park

VIDEO: Santa Claus arrives at Surrey Memorial Hospital by helicopter, visits children

Jolly old elf made stops at five hospitals in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

EDITORIAL: Dogged by debate

Perhaps the pendulum has swung on this favourite topic of letter writers one final time

Surrey Memorial patients receive gifts from hospital staff

‘What Matters to You’ wish campaign received $5,000 in funding for project

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall dies

Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

B.C. Court of Appeal to rule in terror case that centres on RCMP conduct

B.C.’s appeal court is scheduled to release a decision today on a couple whose guilty verdict over plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was thrown out by a lower court judge.

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

Most Read