SURREY, B.C. — More than $600,000 was raised for Covenant House Vancouver and homeless youth in the Lower Mainland thanks to Joseph Richard Group CEO Ryan Moreno, director of Culinary Operations chef Matthew Stowe and 48 other local executives who slept on the street Thursday night to raise funds and awareness for the important cause.
Covenant House’s Sleep Out 2016 – Executive Edition event raised money to support Covenant House Vancouver’s Crisis Program, which provides 30 beds for males and 24 beds for females. Each year Covenant House Vancouver provides shelter, food, clothing and counseling to 1,400 young people through its Daily Drop-In, street outreach and residential programs. Because Covenant House is 94 per cent privately funded, the Sleep Out is vital both from a fundraising and awareness-building perspective.
Fundraising as a team, Stowe and Moreno surpassed their $13,500 goal, bringing in $36,326 — the highest total amongst fundraising participants and a testament to the dedication of the company’s guests, staff and partners. In addition to offering dinner for up to six guests, hosted by Stowe at one of JRG’s S+L Kitchen & Bar locations for any donation of $1,000 or more, JRG also matched every donation of $50 or more in the last 24 hours before the Sleep Out began.
“Fourteen people took us up on that offer so Matt’s got some cooking to do and we look forward to hosting their dinners at our S+L Kitchen & Bar locations,” says Moreno. “We are deeply touched by the generous support of all our donors. As individuals and as an organization, all of us at JRG have a deep connection to the communities in which we operate and feel we have a responsibility to give back and lend our talents where it can make a difference. We feel honoured to have so many friends, family members, guests, business partners and local suppliers that feel the same way and truly make our company what it is.”
In addition to sleeping on the street, the pair also toured the Covenant House facility and interacted with some of the youth currently staying there and others who have stayed there in the past.
“The personal stories we heard really drove home how important Covenant house is to so many youth in the Lower Mainland,” says Moreno. “And while the Sleep Out is done, Covenant house still needs more donations to meet its goal of $750,000, so I encourage everyone to visit our donation page as it’s never too late to make a donation to such a worthwhile cause.”