By LEWIS GREEN | March 20, 2015
HomeStart provides high-quality furnishings and other household goods to people with limited resources in Greater Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Photo courtesy Homestart Foundation.
VANCOUVER, BC—A Baptist church in the Lower Mainland took generosity to another level recently when it came to the aid of a local ministry dealing with a $3,000 theft.
Since 2003 the HomeStart Foundation has provided high-quality furnishings and other household goods to people with limited resources in Greater Vancouver and the surrounding areas. The items are donated from around the area, often from movie shoots, home stagings and even the 2010 Winter Olympics.
However, just a few days before Christmas 2014, executive director Vicki Stevenson arrived at work to find someone had broken into the warehouse, punched out the locks and ransacked the contents.
Operations had to be suspended immediately, even though it was one of the ministry’s busiest times of year.
“Having to deal with everything meant we were going to lose a few days work and so near Christmas, it was incredibly disappointing,” she says.
HomeStart runs on a tight budget and has modest equipment, but the thieves did make off with the keys to the delivery truck.
“They even got all the spare keys,” says Stevenson. “So we had to get it towed and rekeyed which was not something we were really wanted to do. It meant we couldn’t make the deliveries we wanted to for Christmas.
”Damages came to about $3,000. CTV news aired the story, and a few days later, HomeStart received a call from Abraham Han, a pastor at First Baptist Church in Vancouver. The church wanted to help.
“When the staff at First Baptist Church first heard about the robbery at HomeStart, our first response was to imagine the pain and frustration [they] must have felt after the robbery,” Han says. “How discouraging would it be to want to serve people in the community who are in need and have something like that happen?”
Han says their next response was “How can we help?
”The funds that were used to support Homestart were taken from a section of the church’s general operating budget allocated to “Mission and Justice,” Han says. A portion of the ministry area budget was specifically designated to support local refugee families.
For the church, it was a “fairly easy call,” to help Homestart he says, as the church tries to reach parts of the community where it may not otherwise be connected.
“Because Homestart has already established meaningful relationships with many people who are in need, people that FBC is not directly connected with, we felt this was a way to support the organization and the wider community in a relatively straightforward and simple way,” Han says.
The entire $3,000 bill was covered. For Stevenson it restored the ministry’s momentum to finish the year strong and aid more families in need.
“It was absolutely fantastic!” she says. “It was such a boost!”