Orville was born in 1941, is 81 years old and has no idea what a "Gofundme" is.
*** PLEASE SEE UPDATES SECTION
Orville needs our help; in the past year he's been evicted, had all of his possessions stolen from storage, and has somehow survived this winter without his most basic needs being met.
He is currently living in his small car with what's left of his few possessions in a parking lot here in Squamish and has been for this whole winter.
Orville is just a good-hearted guy that life has dealt blow-after-blow and has nothing left.
I met Orville years ago when he lived in a small cabin stacked high with books in the Upper Squamish Valley.
The first time I met Orville, he asked me what he could do to help me out, despite his circumstances. He is genuinely the type of person that will give you the shirt off his back and think nothing of it.
Life had already knocked him down at that time, with a series of personal life tragedies, but he had carved out a simple existence in a small, spartan cabin out in the valley, which provided him the solitude he requires.
Since then, Squamish has grown.
With that growth came new owners to the land that the cabin sits on, and Orville was ordered to vacate his home. The cabin still sits vacant.
Orville served 11 years in the Canadian Forces as a Combat Engineer in the 60's, spending over five years deployed to Germany. Think about that; Hendrix was playing live, Woodstock was going on while this guy was serving our country.
After his military service, he raised a family working as a West Coast Tree Faller for over two decades; they were the kings of the forest.
Due to tragedy, Orville no longer has family to support him as an elder.
Orville doesn't drink or have substance abuse issues, far from it; he now spends his time reclined in his driver's seat reading a book from the stack that now sits on the passenger seat next to him.
This situation is completely unacceptable, Orville needs a solution as soon as possible.
Orville is not a person who can live in a group environment, so we discussed options that avoid putting him in that situation.
The most simple, realistic, and long-term solution to this problem is to provide Orville with a van that we can outfit with proper sleeping and living space and insulate him from the elements.
Any money raised will go toward purchasing a cargo-style van, converting it to a basic living setup, buying needed clothing & basic groceries. Our goal is to get Orville set up to be self-sufficient for the next phase of his life, which will hopefully be a brighter future than current prospects offer.
If you can't donate money, please get in touch if you can donate time, labour, vehicle conversion materials (heater, water/septic tank, infrastructure items), camping-style gear, clothing, anything that can help!
To organize pick up/drop-off please email via the contact me button on here or at [email redacted].
************** UPDATE WEDNESDAY JAN 26
As per Orville's direction, we are in the process of starting a nonprofit "SUSTAINABLE VETERANS SOCIETY" with the goal of providing similar vans to veterans in immediate need under a VANS FOR VETERANS program, and purchasing a remote parcel of land for Veterans in need of some secure space.
Thank you for the outpouring of support, you are restoring faith in humanity in not only us, but everyone following this.
***************** UPDATE SUNDAY JAN 23
I drove into town early this morning (Sunday) to find Orville.
I felt a little bad about waking him up as I knocked on the window of his car.
I told him we'd hit our target of 20k, and that we will be able to fund everything that we spoke about.
It was really emotional for both of us, neither of us expected anything like the outpouring of support we've witnessed over the past 72 hours.
I gave Orville some of the cash from the fundraiser to get a hotel room and some good hot food and asked him to spend some time thinking about what to do with any overflow funds as people are still donating.
He reached out with his still-strong old man hand, grabbed my shoulder and looked me in the eyes;
"Find another veteran to help, I know there are other guys out here that need it".
Thank you so much. From reading all of the messages of support we're receiving, your actions have given not only us, but people responding to this campaign a little more faith in humanity.
Thank you, that is all because of you.
I asked Orville to spend some time contemplating what this means, and we'll meet again Monday morning to discuss our next steps.
If anyone has any knowledge or experience in starting non-profit organizations, dealing with trusts, etc., we would really appreciate you reaching out. My apologies for our lack of direction at this point, we never expected this to explode like this and will be forever in your debt.
Thank you for making this country a little better today :)