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BC’s largest blood drive will see the Sikhs across Metro Vancouver donate blood en masse

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Each year, the Sikh community across BC, rally to donate blood in the largest annual lifesaving campaign in the province.

The 19th annual Blood Donation by Sikh Nation campaign has helped save over 120,000 Canadian lives since its inception in 1999.  Each year the campaign has steadily grown, and Blood Donation by Sikh Nation has become the largest Partners for Life (PFL) donor group for Canadian Blood Services in the B.C. and Yukon region.  In 2016, the campaign donated more than 2,400 units of blood and surpassed its tally in 2015 by more than 300 donations. This year’s campaign in November will include 18 collection events in major cities across Canada, including seven events in BC.

Sikh Nation donors are committed to supporting patients all year. Approximately 30% of all donations from Sikh Nation take place during its annual blood drive, the remaining donations happen throughout the year.

The Blood Donation by Sikh Nation campaign started in 1999 as a means of remembering the victims of the genocide of Sikhs in November of 1984.  In November 1984, thousands of Sikhs were killed as violent mobs targeted Sikhs living in Delhi and across India.  In December 2014, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on a visit to the “Widows Colony” in Delhi, called the 1984 incident a genocide while distributing compensation to victim’s families.

“The campaign is the most constructive way for people to recognize the tragedy in November of 1984.  It is designed to bring people together to remember a tragedy by saving the lives of our fellow Canadians,” says Jastej Kaur of Blood Donation by Sikh Nation. “Through this campaign, the Sikh community in Canada have come out in droves and many have gone on to become regular blood donors.”

The campaign will also be educating potential blood donors on Canada’s adult stem cell registry, OneMatch. Hundreds of Canadians require a donor for a stem cell transplant each year, and more than 75 per cent will rely on someone they don’t know to save their lives. Patients are also more likely to find a donor from within their own ancestral group. The need for blood and stem cells go hand-in-hand.  Patients will often need multiple transfusions of blood and blood products while waiting for their match and in some cases, even after transplant.

Each week on average Canadian Blood Services must collect 17,000 units of blood to meet the needs of patients, however only one in 60 Canadians donate, even though one in two Canadians is eligible to donate. The Blood Donation by Sikh Nation campaign provides the opportunity to bring public attention to the need for more donors from diverse communities to support Canada’s blood system.

“We need thousands of new donors each year and recruiting people from diverse communities is important to help us reach this goal,” says David Patterson, director of donor relations in the B.C. and Yukon region for Canadian Blood Services. “This community’s contribution to Canada’s blood supply is very much appreciated and has helped many patients living with a variety of conditions.”

Visit the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2053862144848076/

Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017 | Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm (Peak time 11am-1pm)  | Location: Ecole Gabrielle-Roy School, 6887 132 St, Surrey, B.C.

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Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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The 50 Women of Options: Luisa Hough

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Luisa Hough, Mortgage Professional, and Partner at Verico Xeva Mortgage.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Luisa Hough, Since 2004, I  have worked as a Mortgage Professional, helping people with their mortgages and getting them into their homes as well as working with them on their financial goals. I am the co-founder of Xeva Mortgage where our focus is to inspire, lead, guide and achieve and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am a Mortage Professional and Partner at Verico Xeva Mortgage.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of?

I  have two big achievements in life that I am most proud of – first and foremost my family – my daughter who just finished her first year at University in Arizona and her personal achievement and commitment to school and sports is something I am most proud of. My Son whose sole focus is school and hockey with great ambitions of becoming an Orthodontist. My second most prideful achievement is what I have accomplished in my business – I never thought that 17 years ago I would be where I am today with my business. My dedication, commitment, values, and relationships I have built over the years has led me to helping hundreds of families achieve their financial goals and purchase their dream homes.  

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

As a young woman, I faced some challenges along with adversity and it’s important for me to support other women who need help as well. There’s no comparison for what these women are going through or have gone through and being part of a good organization that helps and provides people with the tools to move past their circumstances and thrive in their lives. Affordable housing is a necessity and it promotes diversity, creates jobs, builds communities and provides people with stability.

What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

Facebook

What is your web address?

https://xeva.ca/

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Rebecca Darnell

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Rebecca Darnell, Lawyer at DLG Darnell Law Group.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

My name is Rebecca Darnell. Before attending law school, I honed my skills in banking, as a court recorder/transcriber, and as a freelance paralegal at several law firms. This exposed me to a wide variety of practice areas including complex commercial litigation, corporate, commercial, family law, personal injury, estates, and real estate transactions. Immediately on being called to the bar, I set out to chart my own course. Recognizing a need for experienced family lawyers in the Fraser Valley community, I opened my own law firm and was able to draw upon my extensive background and training. I am certified by the Law Society of BC as a Family Mediator and Arbitrator and am committed to alternative dispute resolution.

 What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am a lawyer at DLG Darnell Law Group.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

The relationships that I have built over the last 25 years with clients and the community. I am proud of being able to assist those in extraordinary experiences. 

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

I watched my mother die in poverty and recognize the need for affordable housing in the community. In addition, my work in family law has shown me how many women are trapped in unhealthy or abusive relationships because they don’t have the economic means to leave. Having a home validates you and makes you feel like you belong. I believe when you belong in a community then you’re better able to succeed. And when you’re successful the community is also successful.

 What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

What is your web address?

https://dlglangley.com/

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Christine Mohr

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Christine Mohr, the CEO of Options Community Services.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Christine Mohr. I have had my hands in social services work since I was 15 years old. For many years before joining the organization, I admired the can-do attitude of Options and how its services address the full gamut of what happens in people’s lives.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am the CEO of Options Community Services. 

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? 

I am most proud of my family. Alongside my husband, we have raised two wonderful young people who both have careers in the helping fields. I am also proud to be working alongside the most amazing people at Options who bring their talents, gifts, passion, and everything that they do to support and build community. 

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

I know the impact that the inability to access affordable housing has on people’s sense of security and well-being. Every day, the Options staff see people struggling to find affordable, quality, safe housing where they can live and just be. Once people have the security of a safe home that they can afford, often other things also fall in place.

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Suki Kooner

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Suki Kooner, Mobile Mortgage Specialist RBC Royal Bank Of Canada.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Suki Kooner. I moved here from the UK 26 years ago. I completed my business Diploma. I also used to help in our family Fish & Chip shops. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am a Mobile Mortgage Specialist at RBC Royal Bank Of Canada.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? 

I tragically lost my husband when my two boys were only ages 10 and 12. The saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” became so much more meaningful. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends and family that emotionally supported not only myself but my boys. We modeled healthy and respectful relationships that taught my boys core values. How to become accountable, self-disciplined, and most importantly compassionate. My boys watched as I worked hard to keep us financially afloat. I started as a teller at RBC, and even though I struggled to find that work/home balance, I was able to work my way up to become a Mortgage Specialist. I feel humbled and very blessed, but so very proud that I was able to show my boys that no matter what life throws at you, with hard work and perseverance you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

Being part of (or supporting a cause like) Women of Options, allows me to give back and make a difference to other single parents. As a Mortgage Specialist, I find so much joy when my clients get approved, for essentially one of the biggest decisions they make – purchasing their own home. Knowing that I am part of the journey that allows these ladies to provide a safe environment for their loved ones is so gratifying, and reminds me of my ‘WHY’. Why I love my job. Working together with like-minded individuals towards one ultimate goal – to bring comfort, security, and a place they can call home. This is my opportunity to give back and show gratitude for all of the good fortunes that led me to where I am today. In a world full of so much Tragedy and daily struggles I would like to use my platform to shine some light into these women’s lives. Together with these 50 Super Amazing Powerful women and with the help of our community we can achieve our goal. 

What are your social media handles? 

Facebook

Twitter

What is your web address?

https://mortgage.rbc.com/suki.kooner

 

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Caroline Scott

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Caroline Scott, VP of Operations at Vision 1 Steel Corporation.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Caroline Scott. I was born in Belgium and came to Canada at the age of 3 where my parents settled in Toronto. I moved to Vancouver in 1978 and then to Surrey in 1991. I took my BEd at UBC and spent 25 years teaching kindergarten and Grade 1. I went for my practicum at Queen Elizabeth School in New Westminster and stayed there for my entire teaching career. I retired from teaching in 2014 and in 2015 started working with my husband, Robert Dominick, as he pursued launching his new steel construction company in Canada. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am the VP of Vision 1 Steel Corporation.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

Obtaining my BEd as a single mom raising 4 young children.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

I understand the struggles that many women have to go through in life and how much any form of help can mean to them. When my husband launched our company, Vision 1 Steel, his primary focus was to apply his 30-years of accreditation building many market housing developments, towards the non-market sector, by building high quality, yet extremely affordable, housing for the social and not-for-profit sector. I loved this concept and gladly joined him. 

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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