On Monday April 6 the following email was received by the Reverend Michael Batten in the parish offices of St. Thomas, Collingwood, in southeast Vancouver:
I hope this email finds you and yours well. I am writing this email on behalf of the Association of Neighbourhood House's of BC and the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House to congratulate St. Thomas for being awarded a 2020 corporate Good Neighbour Award.
The Good Neighbours Awards were developed in 1984 to acknowledge the valuable work of volunteers and to reflect the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC’s commitment to making neighbourhoods better places in which to live. The Corporate Good Neighbour Award acknowledges an agency that has made a significant contribution to the community through their support of neighbourhood house activities.
We want to recognize and thank you and others in your congregation for your:
- long standing community leadership
- support and sponsorship of SVNH programs and projects that benefit folks that live in our neighbourhood
Given the uncertainty of our current situation, we have had to make the tough decision to cancel the Good Neighbours Awards event ceremony scheduled for May 7, 2020. We do however, intend to move forward with honouring our award recipients. We will produce posters that will be displayed at throughout the year and we will also be looking at launching a social media campaign to recognize each recipient.
As part of the nomination process I submitted the following description of your efforts and did my best to capture the significant difference you and your parishioners have made and continue to make.
For approximately the last decade the SVNH has partnered with the St. Thomas Anglican Church which is located at 2444 E41st Avenue. Their parishioners have undertaken to do a major renovation to their 108-year buildings and raise funds for SVNH projects and initiatives. Their past fundraising efforts have helped to ensure that our 3 Community Kitchens have ongoing funding and that we have dedicated funds to continue reaching out to our community.
Their support to the SNVH goes beyond fundraising as we work collaboratively with their Outreach Committee who have helped us to secure space at the Church to offer activities that build social connections. Their tireless efforts have allowed us to offer new programs such as the monthly Community Dinner and ESL Conversation Circles.
Most recently, SVNH has been the beneficiary of the church’s Lenten project, with funds being donated to help us address some of the food insecurity challenges that have been the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing support that they have provided has been greatly appreciated and we extend our deepest gratitude to their Priest Michael Batten, their church leaders, Jayne Fenrich and Cheryl Tobias and to all their parishioners.
Please share this exciting news and pass on our sincere appreciation.
Shelley Jorde (she/her/hers pronouns)
Director of Senior's Programs and Food Initiatives
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
6470 Victoria Drive, Vancouver BC V5P 3X7
ph: 604-324-6212 Ext 109 f: 604-324-6116
Congratulations to the Parish of St. Thomas. Just a few months following the 18 months of exile and uncertainty about the cost and scope of their renovations this recognition is truly a blessing, well-deserved as St. Thomas' is a committed community of Christians who selflessly serve the neighbourhood with their continuing ministry.