The Baha’is of Metchosin invite West Shore families to support the homeless.
Heading into the final week of February, Mona Nakhjavani-Bossi, a member of the Baha’i community in the rural municipality for eight years, is rallying citizens of the West Shore to gather clean new towels, new socks and toothpaste earmarked for the homeless, to be presented at Our Place in downtown Victoria.
“Bahai’s like to be of service; that is one of our biggest goals, to reach out to the outer community,” she said. “It’s very rewarding when you are doing something for other people.”
Last year, she said, the community collected enough for 155 bundles, which are rounded out with candies and toiletries donated by the church. Each includes a hand-made card from a child offering a cheerful message to those in need. More than 50 homeless people take their daily shower at Our Place, Nakhjavani-Bossi added.
“It’s like an outreach program, (but) what it really is, we are trying to teach the kids to be of service and not always expect something,” she said. “It is a time of gift giving and hospitality. So the children need to learn to give rather than always be receiving. This is for all kids in Metchosin and all children in the West Shore; it is not restricted to Baha’i families.”
The Baha’i calendar has 19 months of 19 days, four less days than the more common Gregorian calendar and those four Intercalary days, are meant for hospitality, she said. She invites the public to join the local Baha’i group at the Metchosin Community Hall on March 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. for item drop offs, or to help put the bundles together.
“It is about hospitality, gift giving and helping the poor, so we try to focus on this special time in the Intercalary days. I have been out on a tour to Our Place with the children I teach, and it is an amazing service they offer there. That is why I am involved.”