submitted Photo Joseph Richard Group staff at the Sleep Out on Monday (Nov. 13), outside the S+L South Surrey restaurant on 24th Avenue.

VIDEO: Restaurant workers sleep on Surrey streets, raising more than $100K

Organized by Joseph Richard Group, the effort aims to raise money to help homeless youth

SOUTH SURREY — Close to 100 restaurant workers braved the cold and slept on Surrey streets Monday night (Nov. 13) to raise money and awareness for homeless youth.

They had raised more than $105,000 as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, and counting, as funds were accepted until Thursday.

JRG co-founder Ryan Moreno said he’s proud that 97 employees took time away from family and friends to spend a cold night on the street to help the less fortunate.

“It’s almost a shame to say that we ‘did it,’ only because we all had time to prepare and make a list of thing we needed: thermal underwear, maybe gloves, double socks, you know what I mean? And after doing all of that and preparing it still is uncomfortable,” said Moreno. “It’s uncomfortable laying on pavement for seven hours.”

While some employees were set to sleep outside JRG’s Maple Ridge and Langley locations, all 97 people moved to outside the chain’s S+L Kitchen & Bar in South Surrey as of 9:30 p.m. due to wind blowing the teams’ tarps away.

“Despite heavy rain and wind that caused havoc across the Lower Mainland, not one of them quit,” noted Moreno.

The idea for the company’s fundraiser began after Moreno and other staff participated in a larger Vancouver event last year and got a glimpse into what a night is like for those who are less privileged.

JRG is the only company holding its own Sleep Out event in support of the downtown event held three days later (on Nov. 16), in which Moreno and others will be participating again for the “Executive Edition.”

“Happy to do that, so yeah, we’re doing it again,” Moreno laughed. “Twice in one week.”

As for money raised, Moreno said he is speechless.

“I think as of today it’s still climbing, we’re over $111,000 now,” he said Wednesday.

homelessphoto

See also: ‘Sleep Out’ fundraiser at three restaurants for employees of Surrey-based JRG chain

In future years, Moreno hopes to have hundreds of people participate in the company’s Sleep Out.

“Covenant House has a statistic that 700 to 1,000 youth are sleeping outside in Vancouver on any given night… so maybe next year, maybe the year after, we’re able to get that many people to participate in our event and just sort of show that solidarity, and I just imagine the impact of what that would look like,” he said.

The goal is not just to raise funds, Moreno added, but also raise awareness.

“Definitely the awareness is out there,” he said. “So, I think mission accomplished as far as that.”

Covenant House Vancouver says it provides shelter, food, clothing and counselling to 1,400 young people every year. Because Covenant House is 94 per cent privately funded, its Sleep Out events play a critical role in supporting its youth Crisis Program, which provides 35 beds for males and 24 beds for females.

“Our work, and the support of companies like the Joseph Richard Group, make a tremendous difference in the lives of street youth in BC,” said Krista Thompson, Covenant House Vancouver’s executive director in a release. “I want to thank everyone at JRG. We admire their commitment and creativity, and encourage their friends, families and patrons to support this worthwhile cause.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, visit any JRG location, or go to the JRG Sleep Out donation page (jrg.ca/sleepout). For every $50 donated, JRG is providing the donor with a $25 JRG gift card. For any donation of $1,000 or more, JRG will offer dinner for up to six guests, hosted by JRG Director of Culinary Operations Chef Matthew Stowe (Top Chef Canada winner) or JRG Corporate Chef David Jorge (MasterChef Canada winner).



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Man shot dead in Cloverdale ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

BREAKING: Fire destroys Chilliwack restaurant

Popular Banners Restaurant goes up in flames Sunday morning.

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

North Delta crime beat: week of June 12

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Man shot dead in Clayton area of Surrey, witnesses sought by police

It happened in the 18200-block of 67A Avenue

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Mudslide 15 km north of Lillooet reduces highway 99 to one lane

Commercial truck legal load reduced by half between Fountain Valley Road and Pavilion-Clinton Road

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field (updated)

Plane lost power shortly after takeoff, RCMP told

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Most Read