Holiday dinner provides Langley people a chance to connect

Stacey Wakelin is organizing a reconnecting event for the community on Friday Dec. 8.

It’s easy to feel disconnected in today’s society, that’s why a Langley woman is hosting a community dinner next month.

Stacey Wakelin wants to bring the community together over a meal to celebrate the cultural diversities of Langley people.

Wakelin first became a bit of a public figure last year when she initiated the Oatmeal Project.

The motivation for Wakelin, her family, and her friends, was to spread a little warmth and holiday spirit by distributing oatmeal, coffee, goodies, and some basic essentials to the homeless in Langley City.

READ: Langley women suggest everyone walk the streets, meet the people

She subsequently set up a two-day compassion pop-up event in February, where she and a team of some 20 volunteers and more than a dozen donors took over a storefront and provided complimentary refreshments, a selection of gently worn clothing, and haircuts to people in need in the community.

READ: Compassion overflowing in a pop-up store for homeless in Langley

Since then, Wakelin has become a more prominent figure with her efforts to promote acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQ community by founding BC Parents for Inclusivity. This undertaking was spawned in reaction to a local anti-SOGI effort – individuals opposing a new sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum in the public school system.

But for this Willoughby woman, all of her efforts in the past year had one common denominator.

They bring to light the need for inclusion and her desire to discover and celebrate this community’s cultural diversities – bringing people of all ages and walks of life together.

“Above all, this event is about creating connections in our community and meeting our neighbours,” she insisted.

“With the holiday season approaching, I thought it would be nice to come together as a community and encourage connection through conversation and a shared meal,” Wakelin added.

Consequently, she’s arranging a community dinner on Friday, Dec. 8, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the Friends Langley Vineyard, 5708 Glover Rd. (and even though it’s being held at a church, Wakelin emphasized it’s not a faith-based event).

The cost is $11 and tickets must be purchased in advance (before 1 p.m. on Dec. 4) through Eventbrite, or by calling Stacey at 778-808-8954 or email at elevatelangley@gmail.com.

“You and your family are invited to join us as we work to create community, celebrate diversity, and get to know more about one another – just in time for the holiday season,” she said.

There will be a number of representatives from the various levels of government in attendance, including MP John Aldag, MLA Rich Coleman, Township Mayor Jack Froese, deputy City Mayor Nathan Pachal, among others.

“Can we ask you a favour?” Wakelin put out to everyone in Langley.

“Do you have a neighbour in our community that could use a hearty meal among new friends? Perhaps that neighbour lives alone, is struggling to make ends meet or is new to our country/community? Please consider purchasing an extra ticket and inviting your neighbour to join us.”

So much communicating is done online and that can increase the disconnect some feel.

Her ultimate idea for this event is to facilitate connecting and reconnecting.

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