CLUB Interview: HOT POTATO INITIATIVE
Interviewee: Karen Situ
1. Please introduce us to your club (basic information including club name, when it was founded, meeting time/place, sponsor teacher, the overall purpose/aim of the club)
The Hot Potato Initiative (HPI) is a youth-led, non-profit organization started in 2016. It aims to destigmatize homelessness around Vancouver. The chapter in UHill was founded in 2018, and we meet during some Wednesdays at 1E5, our sponsor teacher, Ms. Tsai’s, room. Our aim is similar to the main organization, but we are more concentrated on advertising and fundraising around the UHill area.
2. Could you describe the activities that take place during club meetings?
During our meetings, we mainly discuss upcoming fundraisers.
3. What did your club do last year, in terms of events and any meaningful achievements?
Last year, we went on potato runs where we bake and deliver potatoes to homeless people in downtown eastside, just 13 km away from us.
4. What events are you planning to organize this year?
We are planning a bubble tea fundraiser on Wednesday, March the 6th! Additionally, we might have something related to water for the summer - stay tuned!
5. What is the best part about participating in this club/ what makes your club stand out?
Different from other clubs helping the homeless, we hand bake the potatoes ourselves and deliver them to homeless people directly. It’s amazing how fast the potatoes run out — 100 hot potatoes were delivered in less than an hour!!
6. What is one word that best represents your club (e.g. adventure, energy, fun)?
A word to represent our club would be action. The word “action” can be seen as something energetic or it can be associated with the word “volunteer.” As a non-profit organization, our club helps those in need voluntarily. Taking action can also mean taking the initiative. The homeless in downtown eastside are often highly stigmatized, but they are people, too. The HPI initiates the movement in high schools to destigmatize these people.
7. To whom would you recommend this club (e.g. to those who have a passion for teaching others)?
We welcome anyone to join our club! We especially welcome those who take initiative by themselves.