St. John's Anglican Church
Doing God's Love for 125 Years
Back in 2016, members of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in North Vancouver were looking for a way to help the growing number of people living on the streets, in their cars, and in the forests around their community. Long-time parishioner Donna Lawrence had seen a similar type of fundraiser back in Ontario, but no one was doing anything like it in North Vancouver. After convincing the church council to give it a try, Donna recruited some willing volunteers and met with the Lookout Housing and Health Society's local leaders to get their endorsement. The first LLNOH took place in February 2017, raising $10,600 for the Lookout Shelter. 2024 marks our 8th year as a fundraiser, partnered with the Lookout Housing and Health Society in North Vancouver.
HOW DO PARTICIPANTS RAISE FUNDS?
LLNOH depends mostly on peer-to-peer fundraising through CanadaHelps.org, a non-profit fundraising platform. Each participant creates their own personal page on the LLNOH's fundraising site, then shares their page with friends, family, co-workers, social media and more. There is no minimum amount needing to be raised - whether participants raise $5 or $5000, they are helping people in need!
Participants also raise awareness for the homelessness crisis by posting about LLNOH to their social media, and by taking part in the actual event, The Long, Long Night of Hope. This event takes place on a cold, dark winter night, when participants sleep in their cars in a downtown location, getting just an idea of what life might be like every night for hundreds of people. Those who cannot sleep in a car can sleep on the uncomfortable floor of the church, like so many do across Canada when the temperatures drop too low.
IS THERE A LLNOH OUTSIDE NORTH VANCOUVER?
Currently LLNOH is only fundraising for the Lookout Society Shelter in North Vancouver, British Columbia, although for two years (2021-2022) we had a satellite fundraiser in Kelowna BC for Kelowna's Gospel Mission shelter.
We are open to partnering with other communities to grow the fundraiser and support more shelters. Contact our coordinator for more information if you are interested.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
ANYONE can take part. You do not have to be a member of a church, or even religious - you just have to WANT TO HELP! There is no age limit to participating in the fundraiser, and we have had children as young as 8 and seniors as old as 88 taking part! We do ask that anyone under the age of 18 be accompanied by a responsible adult if they are taking part in the "sleepover" at the church.
DO I HAVE TO SLEEP IN MY CAR?
The choice is yours! Many participants do choose to sleep in their cars, but some choose to sleep on the floor of the church instead. Others choose to take part in the fundraiser without participating in the sleepover. You can even choose to do your own sleepover - if the date does not work for you or you cannot get to the central location, you can "shelter in place", and camp out on your back porch or sleep in your car in your own driveway.
THE MONEY RAISED
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO? HOW MUCH OF IT GOES TO THE SHELTER?
All monies come into St. John's Anglican Church and are then presented to the shelter. The entire fundraiser is managed by volunteers, including web design, platform design and coordinating donations. Therefore, our overhead is very low.
This means that approximately 94% (94 cents in every dollar) of your donation goes to the Lookout Society Shelter in North Vancouver, and not one penny is kept by the host church (St. John's Anglican Church).
CAN I DONATE BY CHEQUE OR CASH INSTEAD OF ONLINE?
Cheques can be mailed to St. John's Anglican Church in North Vancouver - the address:
St. John's Anglican Church
220 -8th Street West, North Vancouver V7M1N1
A donation box will be set up at the office for cash donations, but receipts will not be issued for cash donations.
WILL I GET A TAX RECEIPT?
Donating online through our CanadaHelps.org platform will generate an immediate tax receipt sent to your email address. For those requesting tax receipts, this is the most efficient way to donate.
No tax receipts will be issued for cash donations.
HOW MUCH HAVE YOU REALLY RAISED?
These are the amounts presented to The Lookout Society Shelter in North Vancouver, and the Kelowna Gospel Mission Shelter in Kelowna, since our inception in 2017:
That is a grand total of $113,708!!!!
THE LONG, LONG NIGHT OF HOPE - THE EVENT
WHY DO YOU SLEEP IN YOUR CARS?
A big part of LLNOH is raising awareness for hidden homelessness. Many of us are unaware that people are living in their vehicles, couch-surfing, or even living in the forest because they cannot afford housing. Most of the people experiencing homelessness in North Vancouver were born and raised here, but lost their homes due to any number of circumstances. Some people are working, making just enough to feed their families, but not enough to put a roof over their heads. Their family car allows them to keep safe get wherever they need to go. LLNOH is trying to raise awareness of the lack of affordable housing by sleeping in our cars for one night - we do it with respect and humility, and pray for those who live every night this way.
WHAT TAKES PLACE AT THE EVENT?
Participants gather at a central location for a meet and greet, followed by a small ceremony. Guest speakers from the local shelter talk to the participants about homelessness, and how their fundraising will help. There is music and meditation, stories and laughter. Guests are welcome to join us until it is time for "lights out". Those sleeping in their cars will head out, and others will set up a "bed" on the hard concrete floor of the church, or an equally comfortable wooden pew if you prefer!
This night has been described by many participants as "the most fulfilling sleepless night" they've ever had. The temperature is cold, and you hear every noise within blocks of your vehicle. Most cars were not designed for a comfortable night's sleep. Participants spend a great deal of their night in prayer or meditation for those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. In the morning, just like at a shelter, there is coffee, juice and a light breakfast.
WHAT WAS THE LLNOH "SHELTER IN PLACE EDITION"?
During the pandemic (2021-2022) we were unable to have a central gathering place. There were more people than ever without jobs and without shelter, so we could not postpone. Instead, we chose to take the event ceremony online and participants sheltered where they were - in tents in their backyards, in their car in their own driveway, or on their balcony. In 2023 we planned to return to our original format, but weather conditions forced us to pivot, and once again we sheltered in place.
WILL 2024 BE ANOTHER "SHELTER IN PLACE EDITION" OF LLNOH
While we have every intention of returning to our original program for LLNOH 2024, the pandemic is still among us, weather can be unpredictable, and we may have to make a "game-day decision". Stay tuned to this website - any changes will be announced on our home page.
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