Friday, December 26, 2008

Salvation Army: Turkey with a TV Camera

Salvation Army Harbour Light near Cordova & Main St. on the Downtown Eastside served a full turkey dinner on Christmas day. There were volunteers of all kinds. There was even one boy about 13 years old serving from a steam tray. Another teenage boy was serving tables. There was a Jewish couple, Ezra and his wife, serving from steam trays. All the volunteers were friendly and warm.

The dining hall was full, with new people constantly coming in from the waiting room. The wait was about 15 minutes in the waiting room where they played Christmas music. There was a red banner at the front of the room with something on it about accepting "Christ", but there was not a heavy emphasis on religion.

There was the occasional double-dipper. One guy who looked downtrodden said he had come through the waiting room twice so he was on his second turkey dinner, but he was too full to eat a second apple pie. So he offered it to the guy beside him who thanked him a couple of times. Another guy eating a dinner asked a middle-aged male server if he could take a second dinner home in a take-out container. The male server said they occasionally allow that but don't like to make a practice of it; a little later, a female server gave him a second dinner in a styrofoam take-out container.

Everybody who ate dinner was handed a gift as they walked out the door. The gifts were things people could use, like winter gloves or socks. And the gift packages included a couple of candy canes, a mini chocolate bar, and chocolates wrapped to look like large gold coins.

The Salvation Army runs on government funding as well as donations. But the people serving were volunteering their time.

There was a television camera at the dinner for a while too. But not during the entire dinner.


Anonymous said...

I was at the Maritimes Christmas eve supper. There was a CTV camera there but I do not know if he was filming. The person behind me said to the phtographer that he wanted to be on tv so there was a camera. Also Kerry Jang the Vancouver czar for street homelessness's HEAT team said he was going to be there buy I didn't see him there as I wanted to meet him. The reason that there were not as many people there was because the weather was so bad not because there was food elsewhere.

Also, you might want to mention in your blog that at the Christmas dinner at Carnegie, I counted 11 spaces that went empty (people who did not show with their tickets). I spoke to the woman who said she was in charge and she said it was not Carnegie's policy to resell the tickets at 5:15 (supper was 5:00) to those that were lined up and refused for Christmas dinner that did not know they needed a ticket. On Christmas Day I do not know why the Carnegie only has one sitting for 100 people.

Dag said...

If Audrey's count is accurate, then at least eleven people who paid for their dinner didn't get any food for their money; and at least eleven people who made it through the snow and who would have paid again for those meals didn't get any food. I wonder who did eat those eleven meals?

reliable sources said...

Audrey and dag,

Thanks for the input. I heard about the Carnegie Boxing Day dinner so I'll post something about it when I get a chance later.

Audrey, since you brought to my attention the fact that there was a tv camera at the Maritime Labour Hall dinner, I deleted the paragraph from my post where I said there were no tv cameras. Thanks.