UPDATED: Family thanks community for outpouring of support

Castlegar native Christine Archibald is being honoured by people from all over the world.

Chrissy Archibald. (Courtesy Archibald family)

The Canadian victim in Saturday’s terrorist attacks in London is being honoured and remembered through a worldwide Twitter campaign.

Thanks to an idea from her family, 30-year-old Christine Archibald of Castlegar, B.C. is being honoured by people from around the globe on the social media channel. The family has now shared some details about the work Archibald was doing with the homeless and why she was so passionate about it.

Archibald, known as Chrissy to her friends and family, is the daughter of Greg and Barb Archibald, retired teachers from Castlegar. She has two sisters — Kathryn Fairbank and Caroline Stuart.

The Archibald family released a statement explaining that she had recently moved to Europe to be with her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson.

The statement reads: “We grieve the loss of our beautiful, loving daughter and sister. She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected.”

“She lived this belief working in a shelter for the homeless until she moved to Europe to be with her fiancé. She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.”

The statement also included an encouragement to turn grief into action.

“Please honor her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time or labor or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you,” concluded the statement.

That challenge has taken off world-wide with people volunteering and donating in Archibald’s memory and posting about it on social media using the hashtag #ChrissySentMe or #TellThemCHrissySentYou.

“The family is very honoured that people are taking a stand with the hashtag #ChrissySentMe,” said the Archibald family in a statement to the Castlegar News. “Chrissy would have been honoured as well.”

The work that Archibald was committed to was Alpha House, a shelter in downtown Calgary. While completing the social work program at Mount Royal University she worked there for her practicum and upon graduation she was hired as staff at the house.

According to the Archibald family, “Christine’s work at Alpha House initially involved working on the Downtown Outreach Addiction Partnership Team. She and a colleague would travel the city streets at night in their van with the intent of letting people in need of shelter know of Alpha House’s facilities and providing transportation as needed. Later, Chrissy worked primarily in the shelter itself, working with and looking after the clients there.”

“Chrissy saw her clients as people with varied, complex experiences that had led them to a time in their lives when they needed support,” explained her family. “She felt it was important to respect their stories, provide support, and preserve their dignity.”

Archibald’s family shared some of the needs that Alpha house has, “Alpha House, and all homeless shelters, need donations, both monetary and physical items, on an ongoing basis. With the approach of summer, physical items needed are bottled water, hats, sun screen, socks, underwear, toiletry kits, back packs.

“Alpha House accepts volunteer workers. People interested in volunteering may go to the Alpha House website and register by providing their email address. Alpha House will contact prospective volunteers.”

Schools in Castlegar have joined the movement and are encouraging students to bring food donations for the Community Harvest Food Bank in honour of Archibald.

“The family wants to thank the entire city of Castlegar for their overwhelming generosity and kindness,” expressed the Archibald family.

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff issued a statement on behalf of Castlegar City Council Monday afternoon.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Christine Archibald and with her family, loved ones and friends. It has been such a shock to discover that a member from our community has been so tragically struck down. It shows evil has no boundaries – that such heinous crimes committed across the world can impact a family and our community here in Castlegar.

“We echo the Archibald’s family in asking for positive remembrances for Christine. Evil can only be fought by good – in this case, the good of improving our communities and our society. In Castlegar, our Council and our community always seek to leave this world better than we find it every day. I am proud that Christine started her wonderful life here and believed she epitomized these qualities. We are all so terribly saddened that her life has been cut so tragically short. We in Castlegar will continue to go forward in positive remembrance of Christine Archibald.”

Tyler’s brother Mark posted this statement to Facebook:

Premier Christy Clark issued the following statement on the death of Archibald in the weekend attack:

“Yesterday, terrorists carried out several attacks in the heart of London. One of the victims was from British Columbia.

“The individuals who carry out these acts of hate want to change us. They want to sow fear and division. Ultimately, they want us to turn on each other. They will never succeed.

“As her family and province mourn, we must never forget who we are — and the diversity that makes us strong.

“My thoughts, and those of all British Columbians, are with Chrissy Archibald’s family, her friends, and all those who knew and loved her.”

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau issued a statement Sunday regarding the attacks, “Canada strongly condemns the senseless attack that took place last night in London, United Kingdom, which killed and injured many innocent people. I am heartbroken that a Canadian is among those killed.

“We grieve with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, and wish all those injured a speedy and full recovery…

“These hateful acts do not deter us; they only strengthen our resolve. Canadians stand united with the British people. We will continue to work together with the United Kingdom and all our allies to fight terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice.

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A Canadian ex-patriot living and teaching in California who is travelling in Europe with students noticed there were no flowers at the Canadian embassy in memory of Christine Archibald. There are now. (Submitted)

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