Someone brought a table, a cistern of coffee and butter tarts. (Contributed)

People reach out to help Maple Ridge camp at Christmas

Strangers dropped by and gave what they could

Random strangers stopped by the Anita Place Tent City over Christmas, just to help where they could and to show that they were thinking of those spending their time outside.

Camp volunteer Chris Bossley posted images of the big day on Anita Place Tent City Facebook page, showing the variety of people who gave some of their time to help out the campers.

“From the moment I arrived, until the moment I left, we greeted one group of visitors after the other, just the loveliest people,” Bossley said.

“To me, people taking time out of their day, that really showed a lot to me, that people were really thinking a lot about the folks at the camp.”

People like to bring donations to the camp because it allows them to contribute directly and bypass the middleman, she added.

If it wasn’t for the tent city being there, people wouldn’t know where to find them in order to help out, she added.

The help was given without judgment, she added.

And what was most moving was when kids got involved to help out.

One family of four stopped by with donations, though she didn’t get their names, although she did get the names of Joel and Valerie, who also stopped in, as did another family who personally brought in hot cups of coffee and delivered them to each tent.

Someone else brought a big cistern of coffee, and butter tarts, too.

The Facebook photos prompted Nancy McManus to comment: “These are the true citizens of Maple Ridge. The ones who respect all people and do not judge based on circumstance. The ones who accept all people as their neighbours and take time out of their celebrations to visit with our residents who live at the camp. Thanks to all of these folks who made the season just a little bit brighter for the people at Anita Place.”

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read also thanked people for helping out.

“My heart was warmed to see the compassion of our community bring love to the camp. Thank you for posting the pictures – they filled my heart with gratitude,” Read said.

On Christmas Eve, two neighbours who lived near the camp, dropped off some warm coats. The same day, people from Church on the Rock came by with boxes of Tim Bits.

“The kids asked if it would be OK to walk through camp and personally deliver them to each tent, and one of the campers was happy to escort them through camp so they could do so,” Bossley said.

To keep things from getting too slippery, someone named Andy dropped off two bags of road salt, while Erica Cooper and Kimberley Roberts dropped off bags full of sandwiches labelled “Merry Christmas.”

Former tent city opponent Grover Telford announced his change of heart with tones from the Charles Dickens Christmas tale.

“I publicly apologize to Mayor [Nicole] Read for opposing her efforts to provide housing in the past. I was wrong as Jacob Marley stated in A Christmas Carol, lol.”

Others online however opposed the camp and housing, with Pat Carlson questioning providing modular housing and posted a story from October in Concerned Citizens of Maple Ridge, noting five people died in Abbotsford in one day from drug overdoses. Nobody using hard drugs should be living alone or behind any kind of door with a lock on it, Carlson added.

Geff te Boekhorst added more overdoses will result when people have their own homes.

A modular washroom building was installed on the tent site last week, but isn’t yet in service.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Erica Cooper and Kimberley Roberts dropped off bags full of sandwiches labeled “Merry Christmas.” (Contributed)

Strangers stopped by to Anita Place Tent City in downtown Maple Ridge to help where ever they could. (Contributed)

Folks from Church on the Rock stopped by Anita Place Tent City with boxes of Tim Bits. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

Participating businesses will have donation boxes available for the month of October

City of Maple Ridge continues the hunt for new industrial land

Since 2014, 203 acres of industrial land has been designated for future employment needs

Fraser health sends letter warning of possible COVID exposure at Maple Ridge school

Parents of students at Yennadon Elementary were told an individual at the school has contacted virus


Catch much more BC Votes 2020 coverage from the Black Press Media in days and weeks to come

Langley man arrested in connection with $264,000 drug and cash bust in Grand Prairie

Police have warrants out for Christine Emes and Christopher Gilliat, also from Langley

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read