THE Association of South Asian Professionals of British Columbia (ASAP) partnered with Vancity to hold a Samosa Day for the Homeless event last Saturday at Oppenheimer Park in East Vancouver.

The sun came out on a cool, crisp day; as 800 samosas were served up to hundreds of homeless flowing through the line-up.  A dozen volunteers comprised of Vancity employees and ASAP members cheerfully distributed the delicious snack along with bottles of water.

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.

The Vancity volunteers dressed in their unified red shirts showed great energy and happiness in giving back. “Vancity believes in helping to build healthy communities,’ said Babs Mann.

Supplies for the event were kindly donated by Real Canadian Superstore on Marine Drive. “We believe in giving back to the community through good causes like this one,” said Remo Mastropieri, Manager, Real Canadian Superstore.

This batch of samosas was made especially mild and everyone who ate them enjoyed them thoroughly.  One Downtown Eastside resident commented: “These samosas are great, nice and warm on a cold day. Thank you so much.”

“It is clear to us from the eight years of events we’ve organized at Oppenheimer Park that the issue of homelessness is closely connected with the lack of adequate care for those suffering from mental illness.  Thanks to Vancity for their partnership, 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,” said Jindy Bhalla, President of ASAP.

ASAP’s next project involves the blood stem registry. South Asians only make up less than 6% of the national blood stem registry. Without finding a suitable donor, many South Asians have passed away and several are still in limbo.

ASAP is looking to collaborate with other groups in the community to make a big impact on South Asian donors for the national blood stem registry numbers.  On Saturday, May 13, at Metropolis Metrotown (Grand Court) in Burnaby, there will be a Thanks Mom Give Life 2017 event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The message is simple: Mom gave you life, thank her by giving life to others this Mother’s Day.  The whole procedure will only take 10-15 minutes for a cheek swab and you will be registered for the potential of saving someone’s life.

For more information on how you can get involved with this event and bring out the South Asian community, contact Harvey Kooner at [email protected] or 604-671-4180.  You can also check out: www.thanksmom.org