Neighbours Helping Neighbours is an out reach program of L’Arche Greater Vancouver aimed at helping people in need living in the wider community of Burnaby, New Westminster and parts of Vancouver. Their list of tasks offered ranges from season to season and varies depending on what their customers need help with. In the past they have mowed laws, trimmed hedges, whipper- snipped and weeded, raked leaves, fixed fences and shoveled snow. “Jobs that Need a Little Muscle” is on their brochure.
This group of four men has enthusiasm for the work they do and compassion for the many customers they serve, mainly seniors living in their own home. Three of the men, Conrad, Pat and Garth are program participants of L’Arche Greater Vancouver and work together with the program leader Jackie, rain or shine.
This year they added a new task on their list of jobs that require a little bit of muscle, they baked! The Neighbours Helping Neighbors crew, along with my self, their new director of day programs, exchanged their work boots for aprons and used their muscle towards beating eggs and mixing dough. With 30 customers to bake for, the group exceeded their goal of 13 dozen. They pulled off baking 25 dozen gingerbread men, trees and chocolate chip spice cookies. They were then packaged with colourful ribbons and a picture of the enthusiastic crew before being delivered door to door to their customers before Christmas. It was a festive way of thanking them for the meaningful work they give us.
The aroma of baking filled the halls of L’Arche Greater Vancouver’s Shiloah’s building and the hearts of Neighbours Helping Neighbours customers. There wouldn’t be a Neighbours Helping Neighbours with out them. Wishing all our customers the happiest of News Years and we are always open to serving more people in the community with jobs that require a little bit of muscle.
Submitted by Jen Kazda, Director of Day Programs for L’Arche Greater Vancouver
Jen joined the L’Arche Greater Vancouver community in August 2009
after serving in various L’Arche communities across Canada in a number of roles.