My Involvement

I look forward to working on more projects in the future – leave me a comment about your interests and let’s see which social problems we can tackle together! Here’s some of the projects I’ve worked with recently:

Tri Cities Cold Wet Weather Mat Program

I was the co-event coordinator for the Coquitlam Alliance Church’s (CAC) participation in the Tri-Cities Cold Wet Weather Mat Program (CWWM) in the Winter of 2007, which provides temporary shelter for up to 30 homeless people in the Tri-Cities each night in the winter. The CWWM shelter ran every night at Church locations in the Tri-Cities from December to March and due to its initial success, ran again this past winter. Each night we served the homeless a hot meal, provided a warm place to sleep, prepared breakfast in the morning and gave them a packed lunch for the day.

I was immediately attracted to this program because of its innovativeness in using church facilities as a temporary location for housing those who have no place to live during the Winter. It seemed extremely fitting for me to use churches in this way. This was the first project of its kind in the Tri-Cities and being the co-event coordinator at CAC, I planned the event logistics, recruited volunteers, and raised food and clothing donations. Our goal with this program is not only to protect these individuals from the cold weather but ultimately to get them off the streets and back into decent living conditions.

I have also led other initiatives to help alleviate poverty, including a Backpack of Hope project which encouraged people to reach out to the homeless community by donating a backpack that was filled with basic living necessities, including items such as gloves, socks and flashlights, as well as a New Year’s card filled with an encouraging message. Our church alone was able to raise 31 backpacks, showing the willingness of people to give. The success of the Backpack of Hope program was featured in both the Now and Tri-Cities Newspapers.

Involvement in Global Issues

While on exchange in Vienna, Austria from February 2008 to February 2009, I immersed myself in the local culture and was an active member of the Austrian community. I was a member of the Global Development Team (GDT) of AIESEC in Vienna. AIESEC is the largest student organization in the world and our GDT raises awareness on world issues and therefore makes a sustainable contribution towards the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals. Realizing that many local people in Vienna had not even had a chance to visit the UN, which locates one of their four global headquarters in their very own city, I led the organization of a customized tour and group lecture at the UN in Vienna, including marketing the event to students and developing contacts in the UN. I also helped organize an HIV/AIDS Awareness event in Vienna, which attracted over 70 participants and speakers from the UN and Doctor’s Without Borders. The event was held in English and I was a key organizer, writing the marketing promotions, managing the event and delivering the opening speech. Events such as these raise awareness of world issues and light a fire of interest in participants that I hope will create a positive impact on social problems.

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