WHAT’S IN STORE: Young Langley professionals keep Sleep Out movement growing

A local communications manager joins 80 sleeping on the streets in Vancouver Thursday.

Four Langley residents, including 29-year-old Stephanie Stewart, are joining other young professionals sleeping on the street tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 15), to raise money for mental health and addictions programming at Covenant House.

If you remember, a few months back, an intense wind and rain storm put a damper on a sleep out efforts of Joseph Richards Group. They managed to still do it, but not in Langley.

Well, now there’s a similar event on the books at Covenant House in Vancouver, and its featuring a few locals.

It’s called the second annual Sleep Out: Young Professionals edition, and Stewart – a communications manager with the Provincial Health Services Authority, will be joining 79 others sleeping outside with just a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag.

“It’s heart warming to see so many like-minded and committed young professionals unite as the next generation of advocates, raising funds and awareness for homeless youth,” Stewart told the Langley Advance.

“Sleep Out gives young leaders an opportunity to truly experience the challenges faced by homeless youth,” she said, noting that some of the participants come from sports, finance, interior design, and real estate.

“We accepted the challenge to Sleep Out, to gain a better understanding of this reality, and most importantly to raise funds for homeless youth needing shelter, guidance and support. For one night, we will give up the comforts of a home, of a bed, of light, and of warmth so that we can raise awareness and bring hope to young people who need it most,” she said.

The goal is to raise $220,000 for the primarily privately funded facility. Stewart’s goal was to raise $2,500, and she’s already surpassed it with about $2,800, and still time to raise more.

Other notable sleepers include Vancouver Whitecaps player Russell Teibert, Vancouver Councillor Melissa De Genova, and Brittney Martin – a former Covenant House resident who graduated to independent living and now helps kids who are in the position she once was.

The fundraising CHV does is critically important as its provides shelter, food, clothing and counseling to 1,200 young people each year.

.

Sweet charity

Coming to an IHOP near you: datebook Tuesday, Feb. 27.

I know it’s a few weeks off yet. But it’s always one of those fun days that helps break up the winter blahs for me.

It’s National Pancake Day, where guests receive a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in exchange for a donation to the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital – which for us in the Lower Mainland means the money goes to BC Children’s Hospital.

Rest assured, I’m going to be headed to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and do what I can to help out the cause and devour some scrumptious pancakes in the process.

This special fundraising effort started in the U.S. in 2006, and to date has helped raise more than $30 million for children’s health care. This year, the goal is to raise $5 million.

More recently, the event crept up into Canada, and while only $225,000 has been raised here so far, I’m confident we can do better.

“National Pancake day is a fun and unique way to help the kids in communities all across Canada,” said Mark Hierlihy, president and CEO of Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations.

Do it for the kids, if nothing else. The offer runs Feb, 27, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s all about helping others.

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