September 13, 2010

Vote for Vancouver's Homeless Community

The running link to this post is tenuous, but hey - it's for a good cause so please read on...

Pepsi Refresh Projects are set up sp not for profit organisations can nominate themselves for funds to support projects that benefit a community. Organisations set up their profile on the website and then anyone can vote for a project every day until voting closes (2 month cycles) and the project with the most votes wins the funding.

In the current cycle (just started so lots of time to vote daily until October 31st), First United in Vancouver is trying to win $25K of funding to support their storage facility for homeless people. This is such a simple but smart concept. How hard must it be for homeless people, they have so few possessions and yet those possessions must mean so much, but there are times that those possessions become a burden. How often when living in Vancouver did I see homeless people fiercely guarding their few bags or shopping cart of possessions? Yet their possessions barred them access to many things we take for granted. What to do with your shopping cart of life when you want to go take a shower at the community centre, or even buy something in a store? First United therefore has a storage box system where homeless people can check in their things knowing they are safe and giving them the freedom to go off and do what they need to do without carting around their things and giving them the automatic label of 'homeless'. Such a simple idea yet can have such an impact on homeless people's lives.

So you can vote every day. Click on the link, keep it in your favourites and vote every day til Oct 31st.

Also, if you are on facebook, do a search for 'Run Change' - in August the first 5km run/ walk for homeless people was held in Vancouver. I'd read about a similar project in US cities in Runner's World but this is the first I have heard of in Canada. Homeless people were invited to come out and participate in the 5km run/ walk in the False Creek area. I just love this concept, I mean as runners we all know that if we're having a bad day or feeling down, we can just pop on our shoes and go for a run - it's like a happy pill to many of us. That feeling of freedom and relaxation, the joy of the the pure and simple movement, of being able to chat and laugh with fellow runners and escape from the stresses of every day life, the sense of achievement of running distances we never thought possible. I can only imagine what stresses and hardships homeless people must face, and I can only hope that some of them will be able to experience the joys and self-confidence boosting feelings that running brings. And if I am going on a run I don't want to bring my wordly possessions with me, I want to drop them off somewhere the storage facility ar First United.



  1. It sounds great. Voted, will vote again.

  2. Hi Ellie,

    I couldn't find another way to contact you so thought I would just leave a comment. Powered by Chocolate Milk is looking to interview athletes who are involved online (blogging, tweeting etc.) and, after looking at your blog, we thought you may be a good fit.

    You can find the blog post talking to our outreach program here:

    Give me a shout if you're interested.

  3. What a simple but brilliant idea! I've voted and will do so everyday. Well done for thinking of it. See you soon. lolfym

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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