Local reverend goes above and beyond to help those in need through charity work.
Reverend Canon David Burrows is no stranger to helping others.
Burrows, the reverend at Ascension Parish in Mount Pearl, has devoted his life to assisting those in need. He says for as long as he can remember, it’s always been this way.
“Ever since I was a little child I recognized that I have things that some others may not,” Burrows said. “If I have these things and other people don’t, then I need to help enable these people to have these things, these opportunities, these ways of excelling in life.”
Burrows has learned that, given the right circumstances, all people are vulnerable. He says people gain a new perspective on their lives when put in difficult situations.
“When people encounter the hospital, the grave and the judicial system, they start to realize maybe things aren’t so bad as they are,” he said.
Burrows says people are often unprepared for life’s unexpected challenges, and the search for faith and guidance is a direct result. This vulnerability has served as a catalyst for his charity work.
“The need to help people is ingrained in the core of my being,” said Burrows.
In 2012 and 2014, Burrows partnered with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and Toyota Plaza Scion for the Racing with the Reverend initiative. The partnership resulted in entering two cars into the Targa Newfoundland race and over $80,000 was raised for the society.
The following year, Burrows helped found a new charity – Home Again Furniture Bank.
Kim Spracklin is the secretary of the board for Home Again.
“David was instrumental in obtaining the grant to start the furniture bank,” said Spracklin. “Without him, none of this is possible.”
The project, which was years in the making, is the collaborative effort of many in the St. John’s region, including deputy mayor Ron Ellsworth and furniture bank co-directors Amy Tulk and Maureen Lymburner.
Since its inception in June of 2015, Home Again Furniture Bank has delivered furniture to over 350 families on the northeast Avalon.
“We don’t know when we open or close a door what life is like on the other side,” said Burrows. “Each door that I go to is a beautiful home, it looks great on the outside. But there are some doors that I’ve opened where there’s nothing inside.”
Demand for furniture often exceeds the supply. As a result, referrals and a waiting list have been created. The bank also gets referrals from other non-profit organizations like Stella’s Circle and Thrive.
One man calls Burrows daily for updates on his position on the list.
“This time, I’ll tell him he’s number 12,” said Burrows. “That means either this Friday or the next, he’s getting a couch and dressers. In the meantime, he’s sleeping on a floor. Not just him, his three kids.”