Stone Soup Initiative forms in Mission

Battle against homelessness drawing on classic tale of community

Lanka Jewels is donating a $4

Mission is going old school for a potential solution to the growing issue of homelessness in the region.

The Stone Soup Initiative draws its inspiration from the old tale that tells the story of how something great for everyone can be created if we all just contribute a little bit.

One of the project’s leaders is Paul Horn. He said we can learn a lot from the story of Stone Soup.

“It’s a story each of us was told as young children, but the lessons of Stone Soup have never been more pertinent than they are today,” he said. “The theme of Stone Soup is at the very heart of what makes Canada and each of its communities great places to live.”

In Mission, government, citizens, businesses and community groups have been inspired by the story, and are acting in concert to enact 35 different community actions meant to reduce homelessness.

The SSI is overseen by a committee of community leaders, including Bob Ingram, Judith Ray, Sanjay Gulati and Kirsten Hargreaves.

“We will work with any engaged citizen or group that has something to throw in the pot,” Horn said. “The business community, in particular, has been very creative.”

One of the more creative and generous businesses involved in this season’s SSI fundraiser is Lanka Jewels. Horn said he and owner Ken Selvaraja worked together on a community visioning contest in the past and are working again for the SSI’s event.

“Ken reached out to me with a wonderful idea and he and his design team made a wonderful piece, capturing the stone soup metaphor, and are donating it to us as the centrepiece of the fall fundraiser,” Horn said. “The piece – a literal soup bowl of gorgeous stones valued at $4,000 – is stunning, but the inspiration it provides is even better.”

The pendant is available for locals to win in a raffle draw, which will be awarded on Dec. 23. The proceeds go to the Anything Possible program, a program that supports people to return to the workforce by giving them an opportunity to work in a cooperative business. Tickets for the draw are $20 and can be purchased at Lanka Jewels, Mission Community Services and many other community partners.

Mission residents can also help the SSI out by buying a bowl of Stone Soup from Martin’s Downtown or they can make a financial or in-kind donation to MY House or other targeted programs through Mission Community Services. Locals can also donate services or goods by calling Horn at 604-897-0239.