About 175 people attended last year’s inaugural Langley’s Hidden Heroes celebratory dinner at Newlands. This year’s event will once again be held in May at the golf course. (Special to the Langley Advance)

About 175 people attended last year’s inaugural Langley’s Hidden Heroes celebratory dinner at Newlands. This year’s event will once again be held in May at the golf course. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Hunt is underway for more of Langley’s Hidden Heroes

Program is in its second year of recognizing locals who help others in extraordinary ways.

Their stories of giving and kindness would inspire others, but most of them completely shy away from the spotlight – so few of their efforts will ever be shared.

They are Langley’s Hidden Heroes, and for the second year running a committee – spearheaded by one lone anonymous donor – is intending to quietly and respectfully recognize and reward 10 of these selfless Langleyites.

For years, the anonymous donor has been travelling the world, making donations where he felt necessary to help random individuals who give silently but tirelessly of themselves to help others.

Being a Langley resident himself, and seeing so much generosity and giving in his own hometown, he decided back in February 2018 to partner with Encompass Support Services Society to launch Langley’s Hidden Heroes program.

He wanted to create a venue to acknowledge and thank local individuals who perform random acts of kindness in their daily life, without a moment of fanfare.

In year one, acknowledgment comes in form of a private dinner at Newlands, each recipient given 10 tickets to share with family and friends. Plus, they were given a piece of jewelery, and a monetary gift to help further their work.

New this year, a “significant” donation will also be presented, in the recipients’ names, to a Langley charity: “Wherever the greatest need is,” the donor explained.

“Last year was really amazing,” he said of the inaugural celebratory dinner.

LAST YEAR’S COVERAGE: Nominations open for Langley’s ‘Hidden Heroes’

“This is not so much a thank you, but acknowledgment that they’re special… the message in this is to simply let them know they’re noticed and someone cares. There’s not enough of that,” added the founder, who like the recipients prefers to remain anonymous.

The celebration, scheduled for late May, is three hours of flowing emotion as everyone’s story is shared, the creator explained. There’s no dignitaries invited, no media. Just like-minded people being lauded for being themselves and changing lives.

“These people show such humility… Each story was just so incredibly powerful,” the founder added.

For instance, in year one of Langley’s Hidden Heroes, a couple married for 40-plus years was recognized. During that period of time they adopted more than 30 kids – on top of raising five of their own. Several of the adopted kids live with fetal alcohol syndrome.

“It’s these kinds of people who deserve recognition,” the Heroes founder said. “They live their life in a very impressive way.”

Last year, there were upwards of 30 nominations. And like last year, Langley’s Hidden Heroes will recognize 10 individuals, said Adrienne Barnett, a Hidden Heroes committee member and the communications and administrative coordinator for Encompass.

Even more nominations are expected this year, with the deadline for submissions being March 31, she said.

Nominations can be made online at www.hiddenhero.ca for anyone in the Township or City of Langley who has made a positive impact on the community.

“These are people who don’t want attention and accolades… who go above and beyond in helping someone… it’s not a one-time thing,” Barnett reiterated.

“The point is they’re hidden. They’re not looking for recognition. They’re not people who are putting their names out there… they’re just doing it because it fills a need the community has… we’re recognizing people who are trying to make Langley a better place.”

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