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A picture of Jay, an OIM volunteer, sitting on the memorial bench for Beth Bracken.

More than a Bench

In the heart of Ottawa's Jack Purcell Park, there's a humble bench that holds profound meaning. While it stands in honour of Beth L. Bracken, a cherished OIM volunteer we tragically lost in April, this bench represents something greater—a symbol of human connection.
Throughout society, a park bench serves as a universal emblem of friendship and community. It's a place where people come together, where conversations flow freely, and bonds are strengthened. Just like the countless benches scattered in parks across our city, this one in Jack Purcell Park offers a space for meaningful interactions.
OIM’s street outreach volunteers understand the power of such simple gestures. When they ask, "How are you?", they're not merely exchanging pleasantries; they're extending a hand of friendship. This question opens the door to authentic conversations and fosters genuine human connections.
Outreach at OIM isn't just about providing assistance; it's about building bridges, creating trust, and demonstrating that no one faces life's challenges alone. Jay, the volunteer featured in this photo represents a vast network of compassionate individuals who walk the streets with empathy and solidarity. They embody the spirit of community, carrying the message that we are all connected in our shared human experience.
As we reflect on the essence of street outreach, we celebrate the universal symbol of the park bench—a place where people of all backgrounds come together, share stories, and find solace. Just like this bench, our outreach is a testament to the strength of our community and our commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.

Joyful Servants to All

Photos from Bench Dedication on Saturday, September 23

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