Did you know that most companies will not hire individuals for manual labour or construction work without the correct gear? Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of Working Gear’s clients.

Working Gear’s former client, Merv, experienced this barrier to employment firsthand. He arrived in Vancouver in 2018, ready to work as an experienced forklift driver and labourer. Upon arriving, he could not afford to purchase the boots he needed to safely work, or the clothing to keep him warm and dry on rainy Vancouver days.

WorkBC referred Merv to Working Gear, knowing it would be a safe and friendly place for him to access steel-toe boots and other protective gear, free of charge. Merv walked out of Working Gear with boots, a hard hat, a high-vis hoodie and vest, and warm gloves – everything he needed to get back onto the job site.

“I was blown away, I couldn’t believe this place existed,” Merv explains. “Sarah and the team were so welcoming – they helped me pick out everything I needed to get me ready for work. Working Gear was the helping hand I needed.”

The day after Merv’s appointment at Working Gear, he got a job at Rogers Arena – a job he says is easily his favourite job to-date. One of Merv’s claims to fame is that, as one of Roger Arena’s best forklift drivers, he helped move Elton John’s piano and even got a handshake from the man himself! “But that’s a story for another day,” he says, smiling.

Merv credits his employment success to Working Gear, as the organization helped him get the start in Vancouver he greatly needed. Without the support of Working Gear, Merv isn’t sure where he would be now.

Working Gear needs your support to create more success stories – just like Merv’s. Your donation will help ensure that Working Gear can continue to break down barriers to employment that many individuals are currently facing.

Thanks to our generous partner, WorkSafeBC, your donation today will go even further. WorkSafeBC heard about our fundraising goal ($10,000) and they have offered to match donations up to $5,000. Don’t miss out on doubling your impact on Giving Tuesday, donate today!