Recently two Big Issue vendors were violently murdered in an unprovoked attack. As you all know the homeless community are vulnerable to forces most of us cannot even begin to comprehend. This week as an act of solidarity and remembrance, we are honouring the brave men and women who sell us the Big Issue with dignity, pride and a smile. How can you get involved? Buy a copy of the big issue and have a conversation with your vendor. Share their story using the hashtag #celebrateyourvendor My vendor was standing just outside Waterloo station. He asked me how I am and reminded me to keep warm. Isn’t the human capacity to express Love in the coldest places an incredible thing? Have a great day and please get involved xxx #celebrateyourvendor

Vendor Voices: Bob on building confidence and making friends

 

Bob chats with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at the official declaration of Megaphone Day this past December.

 

"Selling Megaphone has helped me build my confidence and made me feel proud of myself. I like selling the magazine because I can get out of the apartment and do something I really love. And I like talking and interacting with my clients and people on the street. 

“I’ve formed a lot of relationships with my customers and have coffee with several of them. Megaphone has helped create some good. That is really important to me.

“Writing for the magazine has also been a boost to my confidence and it’s gained me a lot of admiration and respect. I have written about my family and myself and also about the history of the Vancouver Police Department.I’m really glad to have the chance to write for Megaphone.

“I’m originally from Vancouver, but moved to Transcona, a suburb of Winnipeg, when I was young. I moved back here for good in 1978.

“What I really like about Vancouver is that people here are really friendly. This city has got its misfits and its problems, but there are a lot of good people out there. I’ve also noticed going back and forth to work and home that there are a lot of polite people in the Cambie Village area. 

“I suffer from anxiety, but selling Megaphone helps keep my mind off those distractions and my problems. 

“It also really helps that the staff at Choice’s, where I sell in front of, have been so supportive. They’re really nice to me. All of the merchants around Cambie Village are really nice. They talk to me and joke around and admire me for selling the paper.

“I’m a really huge fan of the show Gunsmoke. Always will be. And I like going to Victoria to see my friends—I’m thinking of maybe putting down roots there some day. But for now I like being in Vancouver and selling Megaphone in Cambie Village.”

Bob sells Megaphone outside of Choices Market at Cambie and 19th.

The Big Issue movement is celebrating 23 years of changing lives. Best wishes have been coming in from across the land, including James & Street Cat Bob, our friends, readers and supporters - believers one and all. Sadly, for such a great British institution, a number of myths have grown up around us along the way. Here are the ones that we most frequently encounter. Please do share these and help spread the Big Issue word #celebrateyourvendor

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