Volunteers are working together for the Connect Event next Wednesday

Aldergrove’s Connect event fosters relationships between disadvantaged and key service groups

Free event in Aldergrove brings together various organizations with people who have challenges connecting with them

Aldergrove Vineyard Church volunteers will help to connect the vulnerable, poor, and homeless with key service agencies next week.

Aldergrove’s inaugural Connect Event happens at the AV Center (27309 Fraser Highway) on Wednesday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The purpose of this free event is to allow the impoverished and homeless to meet and talk with representatives from organizations that provide financial services, housing information, medical care, shelter knowledge, mental health care, basic hygiene care, and drug rehabilitation services.

“Our hope is that in engaging these representatives in conversation, friends from the community will be offered practical advice, get their questions answered, or (be) given information to other needed resources,” said Valerie Hiebert, who is organizing Connect, along with Maggie Hober, Danise Breederland, and Darlene Isaak.

“While recognizing that their life situations can be quite complex, we realize that together, we can do something,” Hiebert added. “We can help foster opportunities of connections and relationships with representatives from various community organizations for these friends to carry on with after the event.”

Connect will include:

• Community and public health nurses who will administer immunizations and flu shots and will check blood pressure and glucose levels;

• Stepping Stone Community Services Society will offer information on the risks of homelessness;

• The Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation will provide information on their Provincial Income Assistance program;

• BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program will target gambling issues;

• Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society will also be on hand. The society promotes, supports and advocate for services to meet the needs of Aboriginal families;

• Also there will be Langley Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which advocates for mental health;

• Gateway of Hope, which provides emergency shelter for those who need a bed at night;  and

• Crystal Hearing will have their van on site, offering hearing exams and providing help for those on assistance to get their hearing aids funded.

“It truly is an amazing line-up,” Hiebert said. “We are so thankful for volunteers who are making themselves available to help with taxes, serve lunch, provide hair cuts, and even administer basic foot care and manicures.”

Hiebert said organizers are also grateful to  Pearce Home Hardware, Starbucks, Safeway, Mark’s, Abbotsford Food Bank, Save-On-Foods and Wilway Lumber who have all offered goods and supplies to facilitate this event.

Outreach worker Fraser Holland from Starting Point likes the fact the event is taking place in Aldergrove.

“I think it’s a big step for (organizers) Aldergrove Vineyard church,” Holland said.

“Whenever an event like that is discussed, inevitably the location ends up in central Langley.”

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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