TORONTO: Volunteers with a Sikh gurdwara in Canada stepped in with food, hot tea and shelter when heavy snow led to blocked bridges and highways around Vancouver leaving many drivers stranded and shivering. Drivers reported being stuck on New Westminster's Queensborough Bridge and Highway 91 for hours along with a group of volunteers from Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar.
The group made their way to the Gurdwara, which was adjacent to the bridge on the Queensborough side, and came back with hot tea and packed snacks for the stranded motorists. As the traffic stood still even after sunset, the volunteers decided to use the Gurdwara's kitchen to cook meals for the people trapped in their vehicles. "We decided we should prepare 200 meals, 300 meals right away so we could feed maximum people when they need it. We just thought we have to do that," Amandeep Singh Garcha, spokesperson for the Khalsa Diwan Society of New Westminster, said.
The gurdwara also opened its doors for drivers who wanted to sleep and stay warm until traffic began moving on the bridge. Posting a video of the volunteers at work on their Twitter handle, the Sikh Community of BC wrote: "Thank you to community members and teams at local gurdwaras for providing emergency assistance and food to stranded drivers during the storm. Sikhs protect the oppressed and serve those in need. We call upon local politicians to step up and be proactive in extreme weather events."