THE Association of South Asian Professionals of British Columbia (ASAP), working with Friendship Providers in Action, held a Hotdog Day for the Homeless event on Saturday, November 29 at Oppenheimer Park in East Vancouver. It was minus two on a cold, crisp sunny day as a crowd gathered eagerly anticipating the food distribution to begin. Over a dozen ASAP members, family and friends served up hotdogs, cookies, coffee and distributed over 50 toques to the less fortunate.
By raising awareness, ASAP hopes others will join in to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the approximately 2,300 homeless people in Vancouver. This was the seventh time ASAP organized such an event, now having served 8,000 hotdogs, treats, and coffee to the homeless.
“It is clear when you spend time in the downtown eastside that the issue of homelessness is closely connected with the lack of adequate care for those suffering from mental illness. Until this underlying illness is treated, we will continue to have a very serious homelessness problem in British Columbia. There are several reports suggesting that the number of people that will be homeless could triple in the Lower Mainland in the next few years. This needs to be addressed now before it gets any worse and we encourage everyone to contact their political representatives to raise this issue. ASAP and its members are doing their part by getting involved, giving back to the community and raising awareness We encourage and challenge others to join us to help resolve the plight of the mentally ill and the homeless,” says Jindy Bhalla, President of ASAP.
* School Mentorship Program: Started January 2010, ASAP members speak to elementary and high school aged children regularly at various schools throughout the Lower Mainland. ASAP role models discuss their career path and help children learn about options for their future. This year ASAP helped organize a student leadership event in Surrey for over 1,200 students. Help ASAP expand this program to other schools in 2015.
* Awareness Campaigns: Promote Stem Cell registry sign up by South Asians. Spend a day building homes with Habitat for Humanity. Join the ASAP team for the World Partnership Walk, Surrey Christmas Bureau Toy Drive, The Victor Ghirra Toy Drive and many other upcoming campaigns.
* ASAP Networking Nights: Since 2008, ASAP has had a full house at each of its networking nights. This is a great way to get to know other professionals in the Lower Mainland area and help ASAP raise awareness.
The Association of South Asian Professionals of British Columbia is a group consisting of South Asian professionals from various disciplines.
For more information about ASAP, go to www.asapbc.com or contact Jindy Bhalla at [email protected].