Stories of struggle and personal challenge, but also of joy were shared on Tuesday evening at a story-sharing contest recognition evening.
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Community Services put on the contest, sponsored by The TIMES, to let people tell them about their personal experiences, either good or bad.
After the recognition event at municipal hall, the five people whose stories were chosen were recognized by Maple Ridge council during their regular meeting.
The stories were of "courage, generosity, inspiration, and reflection... that show us how positive, strong, and resilient our community is," said community services executive director Vicki Kipps
When people ask what community services does, Kipps says "We help people."
That's the "core purpose" of the organization that offers services to 7,000 people, including children, youth, families, and seniors, in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, she told Maple Ridge council.
Community services is funded with both provincial and federal money, but they also get gaming money, and money from the United Way, service clubs, and community foundations, as well as through private donations and fundraising.
The organization is dedicated to helping people because "it all come down to positive relationships, healthy people, interacting and helping each other, ultimately building stronger communities," Kipps told council in her presentation.
This results in decreasing isolation, and increasing skills, connections, coping, personal resiliency, and community resiliency, she added.
It's been shown that communities are stronger and healthier and better in crisis situations when people reach out to help, they can volunteers, when children and youth have caring adults in their lives, and people have caring relationships, and when there is a sense of trust in the neighbourhood, Kipps said.
On Dec. 3, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Community Services is putting on its 10th Country Christmas Benefit Concert for Meals on Wheels.
The show takes place from 1: 30 to 4 p.m. at The ACT and is produced by Rob Hess.
Tickets are on sale at The ACT and are $14 apiece.
There will be a silent auction in the foyer from 11: 30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (no concert ticket needed) as a fundraiser for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Community Services. For more information, call 604-467-6911, ext. 206.
For more information about community services, go to www.comservice.bc.ca.