I recently got married and moved into a wonderful strata neighbourhood in Abbotsford. A couple of other families had also recently moved in near us, and I wanted to create an event where everybody was able to connect in hopes of building strong relationships to those near us. Yet when COVID-19 hit, that reality became a greater struggle. With insight from my wife and a local pastor, I thought that our neighbourhood still might be able to build relationships amidst this socially isolating time by getting a bit creative. So I sought out the help of the Vancouver Foundation to put on a driveway dinner party where everyone would be able to eat and get to know their neighbours from the physically distanced location of their own driveway.
With the Vancouver Foundations gracious grant, I put my plan into motion and began handing out pamphlets to my neighbours informing them of the upcoming event. In it, they could choose food options from a local business (Solo Cafe -Egyptian Shawarma & Falafel) that had been affected by difficulty during COVID-19. The owners were exceedingly gracious in serving us, not only giving me a significant discount to host this event but also in providing drinks and cookies free of charge. Definitely, a place that I, and my neighbours, will be returning to frequently!
We had a great turnout, with about 40 people showing up. Everyone hung around for about 2 hours, chatting, eating, and catching up. I overheard one gentleman highlight that since COVID-19, he has only had a couple of visitors. All the more reason why events like this that push back against social isolation are important! People were made for relationship, and even amidst this pandemic, we can find physically distanced and responsible ways for people to do this. Everyone left this party with full stomachs and grateful hearts. And that is what I call a successful project story!