LONDON – Angels in the Night is a community effort that delivers newly-purchased coats, blankets, gloves, toiletries, and other essentials to homeless shelters across Canada. Now they are providing a brand new kitchen to help the N’Amerind Friendship Centre in London feed the homeless.
The group started a London, Ontario chapter last year and in their first twelve months were able to deliver $20,000.00 worth of brand new product to homeless shelters. Carmen Alpaerts, Senior Mortgage Consultant for ‘Any Mortgage For You”, stated, “The N’Amerind Christmas party for kids was especially noteworthy, as we were able to get 400 toys together. My beautiful mother, who is Mrs. Claus, gets involved in everything. We decided to raise the bar this year because homelessness lasts all year round. N’Amerind have their community kitchen which welcomes everyone all year round. I’ve been here, I’ve helped and I’ve seen homeless people come in here to have their meals.”
According to Jacquie Ninham-Reed, the Aboriginal Community Justice Assistant at N’Amerind, “We came across Carmen Alpaerts through Angel in the Night and she came across Wayne Watson, the vice president here. They met up somewhere and started talking about the Centre. That’s what Carmen looks after, helping people. So they started coming in and helping our children’s programs and our Christmas programs and she noticed that at our kitchen – I call it our community kitchen, not just for aboriginal people but all people – we don’t close our doors to anyone. Anyone who is hungry comes in and has something to eat. So it grew from there; she started coming out and participating with us and we became a partners. She’s always so friendly and kind, greeting the people just like we do and fitting right in.”
“They have seen the kitchen. We really need an up-dated kitchen, with a dishwasher. We use Styrofoam and plastic to serve and that’s just too expensive. Now we are looking at buying dishes and actually washing them with a dishwasher and saving on the cost. So Carmen decided she was going to try and get us a new kitchen,” stated Ninham who has been working at N’Amerind for 19 years now.
Ninham explained, “It’s exciting and rewarding. It’s just a wonderful combination of Carmen, Angels in the Night and N’Amerind Friendship Centre. We work well together, understand each other and it’s just a really good trip, this kitchen. After tonight we are closing down for the month, and I think the work might be done before August. We are hoping that when we start up in September we will have a brand new kitchen. It will be in the same spot but we might be making it bigger or tearing it out. We are using people from Fanshawe that actually go out and build for training. Carmen has got them on board so we can get a good kitchen going and stock it up for the year. Our door is always open at the Friendship Centre.”
To learn more about Angels in the Night, visit their website at www.angelsinthenight.com or find them on Facebook – Angels in the Night London chapter.