​On Saturday, April 30 volunteers gathered at Oppenheimer Park for the 41st bi-annual Providence in the Park!

A new take on an old tradition​

Historically, staff, medical staff and volunteers from across PHC gathered at Oppenheimer Park to distribute gently used items and a healthy bagged lunch to more than 300 people residing near the park.

This year, we did things a little differently…

We listened to and learned from the community and the organizations that serve the community on a daily basis. It was an exercise in collaboration focused on providing the essentials desired by the community itself.

Despite the weather, the event had a positive start

A special shout-out is needed for the SPH Stores team who made setup possible by picking up and delivering items for the event.

Elder Sandy Lambert began the event with an Opening Circle, followed by remarks and a welcome on behalf of PHC by Francis Maza​, VP of Mission, Ethics, and Spiritual Health.

Through Carnegie Centre, two American Sign Language translators were present so the words shared in the Opening Circle were accessible to all.

DUDES Club organized the Indigenous Drummers who were present and a delicious hot lunch of stew and bannock was served, compliments of Kílala Lelum.

Corporate sponsors helped provide the contents for gift bags to residents that contained new items – a t-shirt, a pair of socks, a personal care kit and a granola bar, and Quick Cobbler donated boxes of running shoes so patrons of the event could choose a pair of footwear.​

But that’s not all!

This year we saw close to 200 community members visit the event and they were able to access some incredible resources, including:

• Carnegie Centre had a hot beverage cart available during the event offering free coffee, hot chocolate and mochas.
Our Community Bikes Repair Clinic was open for business.

• A PHC volunteer (thank you, Angie!) provided haircuts.

• Aboriginal Front Door Society had a booth offering first aid kits.

• Clearly® offered quick vision scans and provided free reading glasses and sunglasses.

• PHC’s Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation Team distributed water bottles, holding cards with contact information for IWR services at St Paul’s Hospital, a PHC ID tag, peppermint lip balm and socks.

• PHC’s Overdose Prevention Site Team (OPS) distributed naloxone kits, provided education, and of course, snacks!

• Vancouver Coastal Health hosted two booths, one for COVID-19 vaccinations/boosters, and also had the VCH Overdose Outreach Team on hand with narcan, pamphlets and snacks.​

And volunteers distributed A LOT of items

• 200 hot lunches
• 160 granola bars
• 200 gift bags
• 200 reusable Providence Health Care facemasks
• 200 rain ponchos
• 180 water bottles with socks, lip balms, IWR info
• 70 pairs of running shoes
• 65 pairs of sunglasses
• 101 pairs of reading glasses
• 25  PHC naloxone kits
• 14 haircuts​

The event was then brought to an end with a Closing Circle.

All of this was made possible by our incredible event sponsors:

• C&O
• Clearly®
• Nature’s Path
• Quick Cobbler
• Shoppers Drug Mart on Davie Street

Lastly, we can’t thank our marvelous volunteers enough! You donated your time, your talent and your items to Providence in the Park. Your generosity is what made Providence in the Park a success.

See you in September!