'Chrissy sent me': Family of Canadian terror victim prompts outpouring of aid for homeless

Christine Archibald with her fiance, Tyler Ferguson. Photo from CBC
Christine Archibald with her fiance, Tyler Ferguson. Photo from CBC

A simple request from the family of the Canadian killed in London’s terrorist attack has inspired an outpouring of goodwill, both in Canada and abroad.

Christine Archibald was walking across the London Bridge on Saturday evening when she and other innocent bystanders were struck down by a speeding van. The Castlegar, B.C., native had moved to the Netherlands in February to be with her fiance, Tyler Ferguson, reports the Wall Street Journal. The couple was visiting London together, and that night Archibald died in his arms. She was one of seven individuals fatally wounded in the attack.

Before leaving Canada, Archibald was employed as a social worker in Calgary. In a moving tribute to her generosity of spirit, the Archibald family issued a statement asking that the public honour her memory by helping the homeless.

“Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter,” read the family’s statement. “Tell them Chrissy sent you.”

No one could have expected the outpouring that followed.

#Chrissysentme trended on Twitter on Sunday and Monday, and shelters in Toronto, St. John’s, Vancouver, Portland, and even Swansea in Wales all reported an uptick in donations and new volunteers.

Covenant House in Toronto told the Toronto Star on Monday that it had already received a couple of dozen donations in Archibald’s name.

Some used the hashtag to share their actions:

Others simply shared their support. Canadian youth activist Hannah Alper tweeted the following:

Archibald was remembered as a compassionate social worker by her colleagues. Kathy Christiansen is the executive director of Alpha House, a shelter in Calgary where Archibald worked for two years.

“Chrissy was a gift,” Ms. Christiansen said in an interview with CBC. “The tragedy that happened–there’s no gift in that, except she may think that raising the profile of the men and women that we serve would be important.”