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

Crash in Surrey leaves 1,500 without power

BC Hydro reporting nearly 2,000 without power across Lower Mainland

HISTORY: The story of Surrey’s war brides

Love blooms from the ashes of the Second World War

Surrey RCMP seek suspect in sandwich restaurant robbery

Police say robbery occured last November in Newton

TransLink says 28 new Skytrain cars to arrive early

The cars for the Expo and Millennium lines will now be delivered three years earlier

ZYTARUK: What other costumes has Mr. Trudeau in his tickle trunk?

You could call it the #Trudeau Collection™

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Heavy snow leads to school closures in Greater Vancouver

UBC remains open, but others have cancelled classes and exams

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Adopted potbelly pig killed and eaten on Vancouver Island

Animal had been adopted out from the SPCA in Duncan; staff are devastated by news

WATCH: Walking from Argentina to Alaska one step at a time

Holly “Cargo” Harrison is in Williams Lake, resting a pulled hamstring before he continues on his 15,000-mile walk to Alaska.

Think you can dance?

Aspiring dancers encouraged to sign up for Junior Bombshells program and perform March 17 at Langley Events Centre

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read