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 woman with autism has scooter stolen from Skytrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Phase three of ‘King George Hub’ development moves forward

Coast Capital Savings headquarters next to King George SkyTrain was phase one of the project

HOCKEY: Olympic dreams for Surrey teen now with Canada’s U18 team

Cloverdale’s Jenn Gardiner a third-year star with Comets of B.C. Female Major Midget League

OUR VIEW: Memories of the ‘strip’ still fresh

Can’t blame Surrey residents for being wary after the human tragedy of 135A Street

‘Quite a coup’ in rail-safety funding: South Surrey-White Rock MP

Relocation study not included in money for infrastructure improvements along waterfront train route

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

Volunteer-based safety team gets city funding to continue work in Vancouver

Good Night Out is a non-profit society that works to keep people safe at night on Granville Strip

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

5 to start your day

National forecaster issues rainfall warning, three crashes in Metro Vancouver overnight and more

Burnaby RCMP investigating ‘serious’ rollover crash

Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, police said a truck crashed closing Lougheed Highway

Most Read