Stacey Wakelin and the rest of the Oatmeal Project had to do a lot of walking to find some “guests” to serve early this morning.
The Willoughby woman and a team of friends and family, spent a few hours on Saturday morning hoofing it through the streets of downtown Langley City handing out warm oatmeal, coffee, other goodies, and some bags of essentials, as needed.
“We ended up handing out most of our items, with the rest going to the Langley Food Bank,” Wakelin told the Langley Advance.
“The people we found were incredibly grateful,” she said. “I think we all got more out of the experience than we gave, but isn’t that always the way?”
The idea for the Oatmeal Project was conceived a week earlier, while Stacey’s husband Scott was making oatmeal for the family’s breakfast.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to share this with people on the street who need it,” Scott suggested.
Moved to action, the Wakelins rallied friends and family to help make that a reality.
“I wish every member of the community, and especially members of government, would walk the streets and meet the people living on them,” Wakelin said following her experience Saturday.
“It would cure the misconception that homeless people are addicts and criminals. Several of the people we met work five days a week and due to circumstances are without a home,” she shared.
The initiative, Wakelin said, was meaningful, the team spreading warmth and a bit of Christmas spirit.
“Whatever the situation, our morning meant a lot to us all,” she said, expressing thanks to those who helped with the outreach initiative.
Michelle Carduner was one of the participants, and raved about the experience and how it changed her life.
“I was so blessed to be part of this group of amazing, loving friends,” she said. “I met three people who taught me a great deal about life… one beautiful lady burst into tears because she could not believe that anyone would care enough about her to help her,” Carduner recounted.
“I met a Canadian Veteran with the most positive attitude and I met a man who upon receiving all of his goodies immediately said he would share them other homeless folks. I urge anyone who has a chance to do this to take that opportunity… I guarantee you, your heart will be forever changed.”