Stories of Advent – Jacki

by NightShift

We want to share with you a story about sharing a legacy of love with people in need, even after grief and loss.

Jacki Love (yes, that’s her name!) has been serving at NightShift since 2014, after she read about the ministry in a Surrey newspaper article. The idea of helping people struggling on the street struck a chord deep in Jacki’s heart. She understood the heartache of loving someone struggling with addiction and homelessness.

“I thought I would come and check NightShift out, basically because of my daughter, Chelsea, who was homeless at various times in her life due to addiction, sometimes here on the strip in Surrey,” remembers Jacki. “There were times I would come out to the street and look for her up and down. She really struggled.”

Tragically, Chelsea’s life was cut short when in 2012, at the age 28, she was murdered while trying to protect another woman from a violent attack. Through the grieving process, Jacki became determined to share the love in her heart with other people struggling like her daughter was.

“Once I started volunteering here at NightShift, you couldn’t get rid of me,” says Jacki, who serves in the evening meal outreach several times a month, along with helping with our women’s programs, fundraising events and special holiday meals, like next week’s Christmas Dinner.

“I get way more at NightShift than I ever give – my heart is full,” shares Jacki. “It’s about connecting, one human to another. I just love it.”

As she serves a hot meal to people in need, Jacki tries to remember the name of each person she meets. Often, she thinks of her daughter. “I think, what if that was Chelsea? They might be drug addicted, but they do get hungry. I just hope somebody did that for my daughter.”

This year, with the help of donors and volunteers like Jacki, NightShift expects to serve a special Christmas dinner to about 250 people in need, in Surrey and Langley. On the menu is hot turkey with all the fixings, gifts, and of course, connection and love like that shared by Jacki.

You can be part of a legacy of love at NightShift this Christmas season and beyond. Your financial gift helps NightShift continue to serve a hot meal and outreach services to people in need in our communities.

“I personally love the holiday meals with our street friends,” shares Jacki. “It’s very important to me to give back and to be able to see the joy on our street friends’ faces. One girl calls me ‘Mom’. They are like my extended family.”

We are so grateful to Jacki for sharing her story with me, and all of you. There, in the midst of grief and loss, is the power of love, flowing from a mother’s heart. That is a legacy worth sharing.

~~ x ~~

Join NightShift as we celebrate the season of Advent on our social media platforms and Advent page on our website. Each day you’ll get a “window” into the life of our ministry. And I’ll be sharing stories of hope with you throughout December!


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