Doug Whitelaw, our speaker this past Thursday, sits with Barb at the head table.  Doug is the Executive Director for Ark Aid Mission, located on Dundas Street just east of Adelaide St.
The work and ministry of the Ark Aid Street Mission Inc. is dedicated to helping anyone in their time of need, regardless of colour, race or creed. They provide holistic services for the WHOLE person, realizing they need to discover or re-discover for themselves VALUES for their life. Holistic Services: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, Spiritual.
What does it take to help a human life…. A sense of BELONGING, WORTH, COMPETENCE.
Reach - Touch - Transform
Doug's presentation was sprinkled with anecdotes about the people the Ark have helped over the years.  Many of these individuals, many of whom did everything "right" but due to circumstances beyond their control - losing a well paid job, getting injured - fell between society's cracks and now live a "hand to mouth existence".
Each year the Ark serves over 25,000 meals with all of the food donated.  The Ark relies upon 700 volunteers to serve these meals.  Doug mentioned during his presentation that just before last Christmas they had no turkeys to serve.  In past years there were always donations of a few turkeys.  He and his staff were contemplating going out and buying turkeys when the phone rang and it was Costco, asking if they could use 50 frozen turkeys!  Now they are planning to serve turkey once a week!
Doug mentioned that one of the pots they use had "sprung a leak" and would have to be replaced.  One of guests, Paul Graham, mentioned he could probably fix the pot at his business and gave Doug his business card.  Doug said this is often how it is: If the Ark has a need someone will come forward to help them.  Most people want to do something to help others.