The folks who co-ordinate the Acts of Kindness Extreme Home Repair (EHR) project, that each year helps those who can’t afford to do their own home renovations, are once again working to serve the Langleys.
Langley’s Church in the Valley — which was built in 2013 and celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 12, 2015 — is offering six weeks of low-cost catered meals and free skills training to local families.
Fusion Family Fun Night is a weekly event remodeled from the previous four years of ‘Whirlwind Wednesdays,’ and is part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s ongoing efforts to offer others a helping hand — this time around, through fellowship and good food.
“We want to help in whatever way is needed. It’s tough living in the Lower Mainland. Everything costs money these days … things are expensive,” said Mike Dauncey, a pastor of the church.
Wednesday nights beginning Feb. 1, the church will offer families and singles of all ages a catered dinner for $10 per family ($5 for singles). Dinner is served at 6 p.m.
Various local restaurants including I Am Thai, We Café, Tacos Sobroso, Panago Pizza, and other cultural cuisines have ramped up the church’s efforts to serve by providing custom meals for the event.
After supper, attendees can take part in free classes from professionals in auto-mechanics, personal fitness training, and life coaching, to go along with guitar lessons, kids cooking, indoor rock climbing, and activities for teens.
Child-specific programs include a vegetarian cooking class where kids ages five to 10 will learn how to make nutritious snacks and meals with little parental assistance. Pre-registration for this class must be reserved ahead of time due to limited capacity.
Other free activities offered to teens include indoor rock climbing and organized sports.
Seniors are especially encouraged to take part in tea drinking among good company.
Books and board games will be provided on site.
“We’re here for the community,” Dauncey said. “That’s why we built this facility, is to help people in the community, and we know there’s a lot of different life skills that people want to learn but things are costly, so we’re offering these things free of charge.”
Anyone can come to Fusion Family Fun Night, Dauncey noted. “The classes are free, and there’s a minimal charge for the supper. If we can help a single mom or dad by teaching their kids how to rock climb or cook for free, it is rewarding. It’s rewarding to make a difference in society.”
Located in the 23600 block of Fraser Highway, the 63,000 square-foot church facility includes an auditorium that now seats 900 and a 7,500 square-foot sports centre that contains a state-of-the-art fitness centre and rock climbing wall.
Lead pastor David Jamieson said the church was built with the purpose of sharing with the rest of Langley.
“Everything from the sports court to the climbing wall, right through to the classroom space… we’re wanting this facility to be used,” he said.
Fusion Family Fun Night begins Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. Courses start at 7 p.m. and are offered every Wednesday through March 8. To enroll your child in the cooking course, contact the church at 604-514-8335.
The church’s Extreme Home Repair project is celebrating its 13th year.
Established in 2004, EHR annually transforms the home of a local individual or family facing difficult circumstances related to their housing and resources.
This year, a single mom of three teenagers is being helped by Church in the Valley volunteers.
The Langley resident has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and, due to her health, is unable to work.
Greg Turnbull, who facilitates Hope & Balance, a local MS support group for the community in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and surrounding areas, started a project to help the family about two-and-a-half years ago, and saw a piece about the local EHR project on television.
“He contacted us and we’ve already put in some help, and then I recommended he nominate her for the 2017 (project),” Dauncey said. “We have found the perfect candidate to help.”
Sponsors, corporate and otherwise, are needed to help with the project. Anyone interested in helping out can call the church office at 604-514-8335, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the years, the church’s Acts of Kindness program has added new initiatives such as free oil changes for single moms, breakfast clubs, and has even given away vehicles to people in need.
It’s all about helping people, Jamieson said. “We basically believe that we are as much benefited by serving as those who receive the benefit of being served.”
Dauncey added, “We want to help make society better, really. It’s rewarding to do that.”
— files from Sarah Grochowski, Times contributor