On Monday, Nov. 13, more than 25 employees of the Joseph Richard Group will brave the cold and sleep on the street outside the Oak & Thorne restaurant on 88 Avenue and 200 Street.
Seeing around 20 to 30 people in sleeping bags outside the popular Oak & Thorne is certainly going to draw some attention.
But that’s the point, says Joseph Richards Group’s co-founder Ryan Moreno, who has participated in Covenant House’s annual sleep-out for a couple of years now. JRG, which employs more than 900 people at more than 10 local restaurants, has a heart for helping young people who find themselves homeless.
The staff members participating in the Langley sleep-out, including Matthew Stowe, JRG’s company director of culinary operations , will brave the cold in Langley and stay overnight outside in their efforts to raise money and awareness for Covenant House, which houses and supports homeless youth.
The JRG executive team will also be sleeping out at Covenant House Vancouver’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition which will be held three days after their own sleep-out.
“Last year, Matt and I spent a cold night on the street and got a glimpse into what a night is like for those who are less privileged. We also learned a great deal about the important work Covenant House does and how they support at-risk youth from around the Lower Mainland,” said Moreno.
It’s a cause that “struck a chord with our guests, as well as our employees, whose ages are largely the same as the young adults Covenant House helps,” Moreno added.
JRG has almost reached its goal to raise $50,000
JRG has four restaurants in Langley with a fifth expected to open soon in Walnut Grove.
The company’s Sleep Out donation page is at jrg.ca/sleepout.
Files from Surrey Now Leader reporter Tom Zillich