Reflections on Curbside Outreach

Mar 2, 2022

Curbside Outreach is a monthly service initiative that brings together students, staff, and faculty to serve communities living in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side at The Door is Open. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, Curbside Outreach resumed in February 2022.

Here, first-year student Reina Hara shares her experience volunteering with Curbside Outreach in February.

Curbside Outreach at The Door is Open is an opportunity for Corpus Christi College students to volunteer on the Downtown Eastside, where many people struggle with difficulties such as poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, and physical and mental issues. In the evening hours, when most other outreach facilities are closed, The Door is Open provides hot dogs and hot chocolate, as well as a variety of other services, to local residents.

Through the INSPIRE Leadership course, I was able to be a part of the Door is Open. As a volunteer, I helped set up and distribute the food. When I first arrived I was anxious, as I didn’t know what to expect, but I have found it to be a rewarding experience. The line of people who wanted to receive the food and drinks went around the block, with over 130 people.

My favorite part of the night was interacting with the residents.

Many of them wanted to talk to us and share their stories. While interactions were limited due to COVID, simply talking to residents allowed me to get to know them and opened my eyes to how fortunate I am.

Not only was I able to interact with the residents of Downtown Eastside, but I was able to make new friends through volunteering.

Working together with other students helped me build friendships I never knew I would make.

Volunteering at The Door is Open was an opportunity for me to connect with and help others, which made me realize how I have the power to make a difference in other people’s lives.

I continue to use my privilege to serve others, as my small actions, such as volunteering for a couple of hours, can be valuable.

For more information on how to volunteer with Curbside Outreach, email [email protected].