SURREY, B.C. — After raising more than $35,000 for Covenant House Vancouver’s Sleep-Out event last year, the Joseph Richard Group (JRG) will increase its commitment to Lower Mainland at-risk youth by aiming to raise $50,000 this year with its own company-wide Sleep-Out event on Nov. 13.
In addition to having the entire company participate, JRG will also encourage donations by providing donors with a $25 gift card for every $50 donated. For any donation of $1,000 or more, JRG will offer dinner for up to six guests, hosted by either JRG director of Culinary Operations, chef Matthew Stowe, or JRG corporate chef David Jorge.
More than 100 employees are expected to spend a night sleeping on the street at one of three JRG locations (Townhall Maple Ridge, Oak & Thorne in Langley and S+L Kitchen & Bar South Surrey). On Nov. 16, JRG co-founders Ryan Moreno and Andre Bourque, along with chef Stowe, will also take part in the downtown Vancouver Sleep Out – Executive Edition at Vancouver Covenant House.
“We are all fortunate to have a roof over our head and a bed to sleep in,” says Moreno. “Last year, Matt and I spent a cold night on the street and got a glimpse into what a night is like for those who are less privileged. We also learned a great deal about the important work Covenant House does and how they support at-risk youth from around the Lower Mainland. It’s a cause that struck a chord with our guests, as well as our employees, whose ages are largely the same as the young adults Covenant House helps. I was so moved by the experience and felt that there had to be more that we could do. This year, we felt that, together, we could make a larger impact and encourage our guests and everyone in the Lower Mainland to get behind us and support Covenant House. We plan to make this an annual event and our hope is to also inspire other businesses, organizations and people within our communities to get involved.”