Message from our Executive Director

It was an incredible summer of transformation at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and I am so grateful to everyone who remembered to give during such a busy summer season! 

Now, as the weather becomes colder, Kelowna’s homeless population is shifting gears to prepare for the new challenges that fall and winter will bring. During these cold days and long, freezing nights, your support will be more important than ever. 

For people living on the streets, each day is about finding something to eat, trying to stay warm and dry, and finding a safe place to sleep at night. With your help, we will welcome hundreds of people in for a hot meal and care this fall. 

We are currently organizing our annual Thanksgiving dinner, which is the highlight of our fall season. As you read about that and so much more in this newsletter, please know, it’s all possible thanks to people like you!

 

Blessings,

Randy Benson

Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Finding Family, Hope, and True Love
Bruce’s Story

When Bruce first walked through our doors in 2014, he was facing one of the toughest times in his life. He had been living with and providing full-time care for his beloved 98 year-old mother, but the time had come when she needed more care than he could provide. She was moved to hospice.

Just two weeks later, Bruce was shocked to learn that the house they had been living in had been put up for sale. With a very small budget for rent, Bruce was worried. “I looked throughout the entire Okanagan Valley but I couldn’t find anything within my price range,” says Bruce. “I didn’t know where I would end up. 

Thankfully, Bruce found Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. He was relieved to learn that not only was there safe shelter and nourishing food available to him, but case managers could help him find an affordable place to live.  

Over the years, Bruce continued to eat at the shelter, not just to supplement his low income but because the community at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission had started to feel like family. 

“It’s not just a meal…Everyone at the mission has become my family.” -Bruce

Bruce had gotten to know our staff member, Shawn, who was also helped by Kelowna’s Gospel Mission many years ago. Then, last November, Shawn introduced Bruce to his mother-in-law, Goldie, who also often came for meals. They got to know each other and fell deeply in love. Bruce knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Goldie. After asking each of her children for permission, Bruce proposed. 

Our Mission Chaplain, Pastor Lester, married the couple in June.  It was an amazing feeling to have such a joyous celebration take place in our shelter. 

Bruce and Goldie continue to come for meals regularly and have become dedicated volunteers, who enjoy giving their time to support the community that helped bring them together. 

We are looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal,” says Bruce. “It’s a special time to get together with extended family and celebrate all of the blessings in our lives.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is so honored to have been a part of Bruce and Goldie’s story. They have become an important part of our big family.

A Summer of Hope
Thanks to You!

Thank you to everyone who stuck by our side this summer! As you know, we had some very hot days here in the Okanagan Valley. Many people came through our doors grateful for the relief of cool air-conditioning and cold drinking water.

With help from our amazing community of supporters, we were able to provide emergency hot weather supplies and basic care to hundreds of people throughout the summer months. Case workers also helped many people access life-changing resources such as recovery programs and affordable housing.

This summer, we were also thrilled to see our 40 for 40 campaign really take off. If you haven’t heard of this initiative, we are celebrating our 40 years of service by challenging 40 local businesses to provide, prepare and serve a meal.

So far, 28 business have participated. The meals have been amazing, and the people we serve are so grateful for this extra support and celebration shown by the business community. Roast beef has been one of the favourite meals so far!

Our Thanksgiving Campaign is Happening Now!
Dennis & Jane Share Why They Give

One of our busiest seasons is quickly approaching. We are in full swing at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, preparing to serve over 900 meals at our annual Thanksgiving dinner. With your help we will serve turkey, ham, stuffing, veggies, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie with whipped cream. There will be over 50 volunteers, some from the broader Kelowna community and some who stay at the shelter. Everyone pitches in!

Two of our regular volunteers and generous donors, Dennis and Jane are already looking forward to serving meals this Thanksgiving. When they moved to Kelowna from Langley in 2014, one of the first things they did was look for a way to give back. 

We wanted to build closer ties in our new community. Supporting Kelowna’s Gospel Mission by donating and volunteering in the kitchen has been very meaningful,” says Jane. “People are just so grateful for this help.”

Dennis and Jane encourage others to get involved in any way they can. “If everybody does just a little bit it makes a huge difference,” says Dennis. “We’ve got the time and resources to give back. It gives us purpose and it’s nice to help the community.” 

Everything we do at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is only possible thanks to our donors and volunteers. Please donate to transform more lives this Thanksgiving.