Courtney Cohen delivers donations to Jewish Family Services as part of this year’s Rose’s Angels. (photo from Rose’s Angels)
Since 2012, Rose’s Angels has donated more than 7,000 care packages to date in honour of Rose Lewin and Babs Cohen, Courtney Cohen’s grandmothers.
Rose’s Angels falls under the umbrella of the Kehila Society of Richmond, where co-founders Courtney Cohen and Lynne Fader, co-executive director of the Kehila Society, established the passion project together.
A Holocaust survivor, Rose Lewin met the love her life, Joseph Lewin, in Vancouver, where they started a family. She raised her children and grandchildren with love and support, instilling the importance of giving back to those in need.
“Every Sunday, dinner was hosted at my grandmother’s home and it was an open door policy for bringing whoever we wanted…. There was never a shortage of home-cooked food to be had and love to be shared,” said Cohen.
With the support of donors and community members, Rose’s Angels was able to donate to 13 not-for-profit agencies this year. Some of the recipient agencies were Turning Point Recovery, Heart of Richmond AIDS Society, Mamas for Mamas, Pathways Clubhouse, Richmond Family Place, Jewish Family Services and Chimo Community Services.
With inflation, agencies are seeing more and more families needing support for basic items. Every year, the agencies are asked what their clients would like to receive and, this year, the consensus for what was most-needed included personal hygiene items, baby formula, and gift cards to grocery stores or pharmacies – gift cards allow Rose’s Angels recipients the freedom to purchase what they need on their own.
Organization of this year’s event began in January, with donation letters sent out to partner agencies, family friends and community members. In February, monetary and physical donations were collected, Richmond Jewish Day School hosted a hygiene collection drive and grocery gift cards were purchased. Last month, all the donations were delivered with the help of volunteers.
“Giving back can set a positive example for others in the community, particularly children and youth. It can inspire others to get involved and make a difference in their own way. Having given birth to a daughter this past year, it has made me more aware of why community events like ours are so important to continue,” said Cohen. “Donating to those in need can make a significant difference in someone’s life. It can provide hope, support and a sense of community for those who may be struggling.”
Rose’s Angels hopes to bring back its in-person packaging event in 2024. To learn more or donate to Rose’s Angels, email [email protected] or call the Kehila Society at 604-241-9270.
– Courtesy Rose’s Angels