Industry / Sector: Charity
Employ to Empower (ETE) supports residents in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community by providing access to development and entrepreneurial resources. Resources include affordable microloans and business mentorship, with the goal of having a long-term impact on beneficiaries’ personal and economic well being. ETE also actively advocates for creating positive social change in the Downtown Eastside.
The Vancouver Street Store is a free pop-up store for residents in the Downtown Eastside every December. The goal of this event is to provide a dignified shopping experience, where residents are uplifted and offered a hand up rather than a hand out. Since the Street Store was founded in 2014, ETE has engaged 200+ volunteers, received 40,000+ donations and impacted 5,000+ residents.
Hours of Community Impact
Leading up to December 15, 2019, we spent at least 560 hours and our 93 volunteers invested 469 hours to make the Vancouver Street Store come to life
We were able to serve 250 brown bagged meals, 300 bowls of chilli, 320 slices of pizzas, provide 400 water bottles and 500 hot beverages to fill the stomachs of our guests!
We had 23 Donation Champions amongst some other donors who collected 190 bags of donations to ensure everyone experienced the holiday spirit.
Experienced the holiday spirit.
And, our volunteer hairdressers/barbers were able to provide 20+ haircuts to residents who wouldn’t otherwise have the luxury of receiving one.
It was critical we worked in an agile manner to allow us to pivot as needed because of the short timeframe. My recommendations allowed the Executive Director and the Board to make decisions and mobilize resources quickly to ensure the continuation of the signature event for ETE. I was very happy we were able to achieve our goals, allowing ETE to continue its impact on the downtown eastside community for years to come.