Please engage with us at Whispers of Hope

A letter from Whispers of Hope coordinator Melissa Shulga.

Editor, the Gazette:

An open letter to the Boundary community

My name is Melissa Shulga and I am pleased to have recently been hired as the coordinator of Whispers of Hope Community Kitchen and Thrift Store. While I am new to the position, I am not new to the organization, having served on the board for almost three years and as treasurer for two of those years.

This last year has been hard on the organization. Change of management coupled with negative social stigma and an eviction notice from the City has sent our humble operation into a tailspin. Many in the community have spoken out both in favor of and against what we do, but the kind and generous actions of several individuals and organizations have spoken the loudest.

Thank you to all the volunteers, donors, shoppers, and advocates who have kept our kitchen strong!

Whisper’s feeds anyone in need during the week, and (as we have for the last few summers) serves an average of 60 people per day. While some of our guests are without, many do have houses to stay in. We do not discern who is in need; instead we offer an open door and an open heart. Despite the public perception of having no rules for our guests, we definitely do have posted expectations, and have asked individuals who have not respected them to leave. Some guests have even been banned. I do not mean to boast this; it is merely to reiterate that we have standards and expect our guests to be respectful. Like other businesses and organizations, we cannot control the actions of our guests outside of our establishment.

Our thrift store serves many in the community who need affordable options. We help to divert items from the landfill, recycle and encourage up-cycling, support crafters and artists, offer discounts to seniors, donate items to fire victims and the impoverished, connect folks with community services, and so much more.

Whispers’ has been labelled enablers, bleeding hearts who are encouraging theft and drug use. I hope, and it would seem, that most do not feel this way. If you suffer loneliness or despair or experience financial, physical, or mental hardship, you have a place in our community. We are compassionate and tolerant to those enduring whatever struggles, and I am proud to be a part of a community that does so. Whispers will overcome misunderstanding as we look for a new home for our organization.

I welcome anyone with concerns or constructive criticism to please help participate! We recognize that communities are complex and it takes many stakeholders to help everyone thrive and evolve. Sharing your experiences and ideas help us to improve our services and nurture healthy relationships.

Melissa Shulga,

Whispers of Hope,

Centre Coordinator

Grand Forks

Just Posted

Whispers and BETHS receive extension

After hours of debate, the groups will be permitted to remain in their Riverside Drive space.

Heinrich hired as CAO

Heinrich has been acting in the role since March 2017.

Power out, restored in some areas

While power is now on for some of the Boundary, as many as 2,000 may still be in the dark.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read