Christina is one of the most active senior volunteers at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. She has been supporting various seniors programs at the neighbourhood house for 6 years. Christina had successfully applied for the RBC Volunteer Grant and the Neighbourhood Small Grant for a number of years. The funding she applied had made special celebration events such as lunar new year luncheon and moon festival luncheon possible for seniors living at the Little Mountain area. In 2015, Christina applied for a neighbourhood small grant project that helps to facilitate intergenerational bonding through ping pong. Christina is also involved in the Life Songs Seniors project, and is a member of the Little Mountain Seniors Advisory Committee. Last but not least, Christina’s a role model for community advocacy. She had raised awareness among seniors in the neighbourhood about gentrification occurring in Vancouver Chinatown. Christina encouraged people to sign a petition that aims to protect Chinatown heritage and advocate for adequate social housing in Chinatown for low-income immigrant seniors.
Luz is originally from Colombia and arrived in Canada in April 2008. In 2009, Luz joined our Enhancing Communication Class, later known as Culture and Communication Class. Since then, Luz has never stopped participating in different programs at LMNH and has volunteered with us since then. Luz loves children and people from all different backgrounds. Some programs she has volunteered in include Winter Festivals, Summer Festivals, Community Kitchens, Reception, Family Resource programs and more. Luz never hesitates to offer her help and she feels like she is part of the LMNH family. She brings a warm, positive energy and smile with her every time she walks through our doors. Currently Luz is taking the Community Capacity Building Course at Capilano University where she is learning about leadership, facilitation and community building.
Mark first began volunteering with Friday Night Community Dinners 2.5 years ago, as an activity that he could participate in with his daughter, Sarah Pope (then in grade 7). Mark has since become a regular and committed volunteer at the Friday Community Dinner program, and also as a volunteer at LMNH’s Winter Festival (serving two years). He has also become an LMNH ‘handyman’—helping to renovate, reconstruct, and assist with odd maintenance around the neighbourhood house. Mark is always happy to lend a helping hand and says that he enjoys volunteering here because it “makes him feel good to be around such great people, to be productive, and to enrich the lives of other.” Mark works in the neighbourhood at the Children’s Hospital, and will often come to volunteer at LMNH after his shift and on weekends, during his time off. What once started as means to get Mark and his daughter involved in the community has since extended to a dedicated and committed person always happy to ask “Is there anything I can help with?.” We appreciate Mark’s ‘eager to help’ helping hands and heart.
Jennifer has been the seniors Wah Tor Chi Kung instructor at LMNH since 2009. She is one of our most reliable and dedicated volunteers in the neighbourhood house. She shows up to lead the Chi King class every week rain or shine for the past 7 years. She is always kind and patient to the senior participants, and never hesitates to share her knowledge and understanding about Chi Kung practice and healthy living. As a Canadian who is passionate about health promotion through an ancient Chinese health exercise, Jennifer embraces the true meaning of multiculturalism and diversity. Her Chi King class provides an excellent opportunity for seniors from different backgrounds to explore traditional Chinese health concepts, beliefs and practices. Jennifer was also a very humble person. She always said what she did in the neighbourhood house was a very small contribution, but it is her dedication and determination to show up for her volunteer job every week for the past 7 years that makes her special and a wonderful role model in our community.
Thuy exemplifies service to others, whether at work, home, church, or communities and non-profit organizations. She enjoys the pleasure of helping people and of seeing how she can make a little difference in others’ lives. She first came to LMNHS as a guest speaker from VanCity’s Each One Teach One program to educate community members, in particular new immigrants, on personal financial management. While working with LMNHS staff and volunteers, and recognizing how communities can benefit from settlement programs, including the Income Tax returns clinic services, she decided to volunteer at LMNHS as well. For more than 5 years now she has been helping low-income families, as well as people with disability or disadvantaged due to language and cultural barriers, making filing tax returns much easier and more timely each year. Thuy not only serves at LMNHS but also spends a lot of time after work to help at her parish and with other non- profit organizations, such as Domestic Abuse Services.
Good Neighbour Awards 2016
Greg Andruff – Good Neighbour Award
Greg was introduced to Little Mountain Child Development staff by one of our community parents who attended a meeting orgainzed to find people interested in joining the playground committee. Greg gladly volunteered well over 200 hours of his time to us and even though he has no children of his own, he has the passion and the drive to see the creation of LMCDC’s all inclusive playground. Greg is at every playground committee meeting and usually chairs it. He helped organize the fundraiser kickoff and contributed a lot of his time towards the two galas we hosted over the past two years. He was able to raise an incredible $7000 for each of those events. During the planning phase for the Galas, Greg was able to acquire the first venue as a donation and was able to secure the second venue at a special reduced rate. He then went on to provide many of the door/raffle/silent auction prizes. Greg also set up a website where people in the community can donate online or just keep up to date on all the fun things going on in the community.
Greg contributes his own money and time to an annual pumpkin patch in the field of LMCDC where parents in the neighbourhood can bring their children and pay by donation. Greg also set up an Easter egg hunt by donation and the proceeds from these two events go towards the playground fund. Greg has been a fantastic chairman of our playground committee and we would like to thank him for all the time he has put in helping develop his local community.
George Sentosa – Youth Good Neighbour Award
George is a grade 11 student at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School in Vancouver. He has been nominated for the Good Neighbour Award due to his active commitment to the Homework Club – a program offered by the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House at his school. The Homework Club is an after-school drop-in program where high school youth can have access to a variety of resources. This includes help with schoolwork, information on activities within the community, as well as access to youth workers whom they can talk to about issues they face at home, in school, or at work. After being a Homework Club regular for several years, George took the initiative to become a volunteer for the program. He contributes ideas to the way the program is run, does research for field trips and special events, and helps with administrative tasks. He has a great sense of humour and always comes to Homework Club with a positive attitude.
George arrived in Canada from Indonesia in late 2009 and enrolled in English Language Learning courses at Tupper. These courses helped George improve his English skills while also providing a great boost of confidence to the young man. When he graduates high school, George wants to become a police detective, a paramedic, or a chef and he is well on his way as a member of the Vancouver Police Department Cadets program. In his spare time, he takes music and singing lessons at Sarah McLachlan School of Music and learns martial arts at the Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Collective Society. He enjoys making dinner for friends, playing video games, and being active.
BC Wine Studio (Mark Simpson) – Corporate Good Neighbour Award
We nominated BC Wine Studio for the Corporate Good Neighbour Award as the company continues to help out in the community with fundraisers and small neighbourhood projects without any cost to the public. Over the past year, BC Wine Studio has helped raise funds at two events involved in the Little Mountain Child Development Centre Playground Rebuild. The first event was a Wine & Oyster night fundraiser with Le Marche St.George with all proceeds going towards the building of a new inclusive playground. The second fundraiser was our Party for the Playground Gala at the Polish Community Hall where Mark Simpson (Owner of BC Wine Studio) gave $10 from the profit of each bottle sold to the playground fund. Both events were huge successes in the community as well as for BC Wine Studio.
The business is also a large contributor in the community with other organizations as they have joined the local Vancouver Farmers Market to help merchants and families. They also helped the Mount Pleasant Family Centre with their fundraiser “Savour our Neighbours”. Le Marche St.George and Mark Simpson also created the “Neighbourhood Vineyard” at the corner of E.28th and St.George Street to help bring families and the community together. They have created a place where everyone can take part in maintaining and caring for the vineyards. BC Wine Studio is committed to bringing people together to help strengthen our community and give everyone a sense of belonging and togetherness.