A woman whose journey from homeless childhood to studying at Harvard University will be the keynote speaker at a virtual banquet in London, Ont.
Liz Murray will join Mission Services of London, a non-profit organization that provides support to the homeless, at her Hope Banquet & Silent Auction on Thursday, November 25.
Speaking with Devon Peacock of 980 CFPL, Murray shared his experience of roaming while growing up in the Bronx, New York.
London, Ont. shelter services brace for bed cuts as city prepares new contracts
Born to poor parents and drug addicts, Murray became homeless at the age of 15 after her mother died of AIDS and her father moved to an emergency shelter.
“I felt like I wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “When I thought about my life in front of me, how I’m going to rise to anything… it was so overwhelming.”
With the support of the community, Murray began attending high school and graduated in two years despite his late start and lack of a stable home.
Londoners support Mission Services London’s second annual Fill Up the Bus event
Murray says it was during these difficult times that she found herself wanting to help others.
“I went to high school when I was homeless, (I) received dental care, hot meals, advice… I was helped so much in my journey that at one point, it clicked for me, ”she explained. “I quickly realized that a lot of people were also struggling. “
Murray received a scholarship and was accepted to Harvard University.
“Eventually, as I was able to change my situation with this help, I started to start a non-profit organization (and) I started volunteering (so) that I could help (others) “she said.
Perdita Felicien to speak at Mission Services of London banquet: “I am living proof that work is home”
Proceeds from the 2021 Hope Banquet and Auction will help fund clothing, hygiene items and household items for adults and children in need.
According to a statement from Mission Services of London, its Emergency Voucher program provided $ 74,000 in merchandise to 1,886 people in 2020-2021.
Murray encourages people to help out whenever they can.
“You don’t have to ‘wait until’. You have something of value right now, ”she said.
Mission Services of London increases target for Scan Away Hunger 2018 campaign
“I like asking people to think about the courage it takes for a homeless person to knock on the door and ask for service,” Murray continued. “It’s very difficult. It’s very vulnerable.
“The problem may be huge, but your job is not to solve the whole problem. It is to do what you can with what you have.
Hope Banquet & Silent Auction 2021 tickets are available in line. The event will take place virtually.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.