Gun violence flared up in Surrey, B.C. again early Thursday morning with shots fired between two vehicles. One car lost control and crashed into a post.
No one was hurt, but it's the latest in a string of more than a dozen shootings in the last several weeks. One ended with the death of 22-year-old Arun Bains.
The city of Surrey finds itself once again thrust into the spotlight for crime. But what about the good things happening in B.C.'s fastest growing city?
Groups like Friends of the Grove have been quietly and successfully proving that Surrey is about much more than violence.
“There were up to 23 shootings in Surrey in six weeks last year and headlines were focusing on these shooting sprees — so we decided to have a kindness spree,” founder David Dailey said. “People in the grove were giving away cookies; one woman even had a sign up for free hugs.”
"The grove" is a small wooded area beside the Newton Recreation Centre, and not far from where Julie Paskall, a mother of three, was attacked and killed in 2013. A group of neighbours wanted to take back the area by simply sharing stories and meeting others in the community.
Friends of the Grove began with simple get-togethers which turned into barbecues and picnics. A free piano as well as artwork hung on the trees were soon added to the mix. The volunteers are now working to expand four planter boxes into a free community garden that encourages people to harvest food when they need it.
While Friends of the Grove started as a way to combat negativity, Dailey is quick to point out that they are not reactionary anymore. “We are a very proactive group now," he told The Huffington Post B.C. in an interview. "We enjoy sharing visions for what our community can be."
Here are some other people and groups who re-define Surrey's tainted image and working to reverse the influence of gangs in the city:
Ranj DhaliwalRanj Dhaliwal
Clothes on WheelsClothes On Wheels
Volken AcademyJohn Volken Academy
Surrey RCMP School Sports ProgramSurrey RCMP
Mani AmarMani Amar/Facebook
Youth Intervention ProgramSurrey RCMP
Code BlueSurrey RCMP
Do you know of others making a difference in Surrey, B.C.? Let us know!
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