“If you believe in community … ” is the slogan and driving force behind a new organization that sees poverty in our own neighbourhood and wants to do something about it.
The Sunshine Coast Society for Communities Adopting Families in Need (CAFIN) is underway with a group of sincere local people who have already identified a struggling family — a single parent who cannot make ends meet.
“We often look at government to help us out,” said CAFIN organizer Adrienne Ucciferri. “We can’t rely on that any more.”
The inspiration to help came to her after the death of a close friend. “He lived in poverty,” she said, “but he always gave to others.”
Ucciferri found other like-minded people among theatre performers she had come to know by working on such productions as Little Shop of Horrors a few years ago. Allithia Reid and Stephen Archibald have stepped up to the plate along with several others who will form the organization’s first directors when the paperwork for the non-profit society is completed.
Archibald says that he’s not a wealthy man himself.
“There’s a disparity on the Coast between the haves and the have-nots,” he said, adding he was inspired by the concept of a giving circle, an organization that sprang up in the States to help people following the devastation of hurricane Katrina.
“We’re living pay cheque to pay cheque,” she said. “One thing goes wrong and we’re all swept away.”
As they are all performers, they have come up with a fundraising plan that involves a variety show, Carnivale Humanitarium, running from 1 to 9 p.m., with audience stopping by at any time, on Sunday, June 3, at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons. Admission will be by suggested donation of $10.
The call is out for musicians, dancers, poets, jugglers and performers of all ages and types to volunteer time and energy by taking a spin in the spotlight for what the group hopes will be a receptive audience.
Reid asks that if you want to take part, contact her at email@example.com or 604-886-4690 by May 7, as she is putting together a schedule of performers.
Donors and contributors to the cause are welcome. The grass roots group promises total transparency regarding the expenses involved. The funds raised will not be handed to the family; rather, they will be administered over time to cover unexpected necessities such as dental work that can cripple a poverty-line budget.
A silent auction is planned for the day preceding the show and will be held at Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons. Archibald is gathering donations for the auction; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-886-1924. So far he’s received a number of valuable services for auction, including 10 hours of home care/personal care, a psychic soirée package, landscaping, a train set and tools. He welcomes more items.
What happens after the variety show? The future goals are clear for Ucciferri, because she knows there are many families in need.
“My hope is to ask our mayor in Gibsons to adopt a family, and then he asks another mayor in another community to also adopt a family and so on. I’d like to see an end to childhood poverty in B.C. — one town at a time,” she said.