A group of five people set up tables on the darkened Douglas Park Spirit Square stage in Langley City early Saturday night.
They put out bag lunches, clothes, shoes, blankets and other supplies, then fired up a generator to provide light and began broadcasting live video of the event online as more than 20 homeless people were served.
It was the first time the new Acts of Kindness group has come to Langley.
Founder Brendon Brady, a former Langley resident who now lives in Vancouver, said he has been distributing jackets and blankets to the homeless for about two years, but the campaign really began to take off about two months ago when other people got involved and they started live-streaming the giveaways.
“It’s growing pretty quick,” Brady said.
“We get a lot of donations — actually, we got so many that I couldn’t keep them in my house anymore.”
Brady said the live-streaming is to encourage online viewers to help the needy.
“We’ve got other people that are doing acts of kindness in their area,” he said, including one person who distributed sandwiches to the poor in the Dominican Republic after seeing the Acts of Kindness video.
Long-time friend Augustino Duminuco, a Langley resident, said the first event he did with Brady was at Main and Hastings in December.
“Me and him pooled some money together out of our own pockets,” Duminuco said.
“He (Brady) ended up doing things on social media … all of a sudden donations started flooding in.”
Duminuco has paid for a storage locker to accommodate the flood of donations.
“I’ve been in some pretty rough spots myself in life and people have helped me, and I remember what that’s like,” Duminuco said.
Rachelle Seidel of Aldergrove said she contacted Brady in January about volunteering when she read about the initiative online.
“I knew I had to get involved,” Seidel said.
“My heart was just touched because my sister was on the streets for a few years.”
After handing out necessities in Langley, Seidel said the volunteers packed up and headed for a homeless camp in Surrey, where they served another 40 people.
“We’re going to come back to Langley, for sure,” Seidel said.
Brady said Acts of Kindness is “not connected” to his position as executive director of CreepHunters Canada, a group that targets online pedophiles (see related story below).
A different kind of vigilante
Creep Hunters says it waits for police to investigate before posting videos
Brendon Brady says Creep Hunters Canada, unlike some groups that pose online as children to lure would-be predators, will not post videos of their confrontations with suspects until the police have investigated and the courts have ruled on the person’s guilt.
Brady, the executive director of the Vancouver-based group, said they turn over all the evidence they collect to the police.
“We don’t do this to boost views on our videos,” Brady said.
“We will post videos once there is a conviction.”
Brady said people who carry out public shaming of suspects before the police have investigated are “reckless.”
“We work very hard to maintain our distance from that (kind of) group,” Brady told The Times.