Wonderful friendships begin on transit. Just ask Joy Hopper and Glen Foster.
For years, 83 year-old Joy has been riding Glen’s C12 shuttle to Lions Bay. Making the trip every Friday morning, sometimes simply to take in the sights, she stays on the bus as it loops back through Horseshoe Bay.
But Joy doesn’t just sit and stare out the window, she knits. In fact, she’s always knitting. And it was her passion for this hobby that first compelled Glen to ask just how many hats she reckons she’s made over the years. When Joy responded that her hat making numbers totalled into the hundreds, Glen told her about the charity he volunteers for called The Great Helping Hand.
Started by fellow West Van Blue Bus operator David Rai, the charity came about after David was moved by the poverty he saw while driving buses in the Downtown Eastside. Initially making sandwiches with his wife to give to those in need, he eventually expanded and developed the Surrey-based charity to distribute food and clothing on a broader scale.
It’s safe to say that Glen’s story inspired Joy. Having always given her knitting away to friends and family, she started to pass on finished hats, scarves and the occasional baby blanket to Glen, who would then pass them on to David at The Great Helping Hand.
Pretty neat, huh? Glen drives, joy knits and the charity receives handmade garments to help those in need.
There’s more though. Through this giving, Glen and Joy have become great friends, a tight knit pair if you will.
Calling herself Glen’s “Horseshoe Bay mom”, the two sometimes go for lunch or grab a coffee when Glen’s not working. Joy has even met Glen’s family and loves to tune in and watch his daughter, Jennifer Foster, compete with the Canadian Show Jumping Team. Joy is particularly excited to watch when Jennifer competes in this upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
As a senior living alone in Lions Libby Lodge, Joy says she’s happy to see her knitting go to a good cause.
We are too.
Update! The Vancouver Sun recently ran an article about Joy and Glen’s charity work. You can check it out here