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Local One Billion Rising Events Create 1300 Care Packages for Women and Children

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To mark 2020’s, Worldwide One Billion Rising* campaign, the biggest mass action to end violence against women, social justice and faith based organizations came together to hold events in Vancouver and Surrey in February 2020. The main focus was to bring people together to create over 1300 care packages filled with personal hygiene necessities to help women and children across the Lower Mainland. Both gatherings brought an intersection of people and faiths interested in giving back and delving in deeper conversations to enrich their communities.

Elder Gertie Pierre, from the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society welcomed event participants with opening remarks and offered the sacred tradition of cedar brushing, that helped clear negative energy.

Both events had brief interactive question rounds where partnering organizations were highlighted, but also participants were encouraged to exchange ideas with others. At each event, Chas Coultee from the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society educated participants about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. Both the cities of Vancouver and Surrey honoured the events with the reading of official proclamations declaring February 1-7th UN World International Harmony Week, and the assembly of more than 1,300 hygiene packages.

*Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. For more information on Background on One Billion Rising:

https://www.onebillionrising.org/about/campaign/one-billion-rising/

Care packages were created to support the following organizations:

  • Ama Transition House
  • Azure Place
  • Bill Reid Place
  • Charlford House
  • Cold Weather Shelters across the Lower Mainland
  • Dixon House
  • Durrant Transition House
  • Elizabeth Gurney House
  • Evergreen Transition House
  • Firth Residence
  • Fraserside Emergency Family Shelter
  • Hyland House
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Joy’s Place
  • Kenkinow Native Housing Society
  • Koomseh Housing
  • Maxxine Wright Place
  • Monarch Place
  • Nova House
  • Shimai Transition House
  • Springhouse Vancouver Women’s Shelter
  • Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
  • Vi Fineday Family Shelter Society

This year’s community partners included, Centre For Israel And Jewish Affairs, Global Girl Power, Global Peace Alliance, Guru Nanak Foundation of Canada, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, Kaur Project, Mustang Justice, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Surrey, Surrey Interfaith Council , The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vancouver Interfaith Network, World Sikh Organization of Canada, Worldwide Shift Disturbers.

www.1brlm.com

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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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Laura Ballance

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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 Laura Ballance, president of Laura Ballance Media Group (LBMG).

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

My name is Laura Ballance. I’m the President of Laura Ballance Media Group. We are a local PR, media, and advertising agency that works with great local businesses, national and international businesses. We are most known for our event work, and we are proud of our deep relationships with some of the best not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the province and country. 

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

I am the President of Laura Ballance Media Group (LBMG).

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

Professionally, our work on the 2010 Winter Olympics, the UN World Urban Forum, TOIFA, the PNE. I was honoured to receive the 40 under 40 awards as well as being a finalist for the Women of Distinction Award. I’m also very proud to donate $100,000 in time and money annually to not for profits and charities across our region and country.

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

I believe in giving back in the community where you have a direct connection, where you can use your time to advocate for change where required and have a more hands-on approach to gifting. I believe this campaign will move the bar in our region within the space.

What are your social media handles? *

Twitter 

Instagram

What is your website:

https://lbmg.ca/

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: Mary Martin

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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 Mary Martin, former Surrey City Councillor.

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

My name is Mary Martin. I have been a wife for 40 years and I am a mother of three. I am also a proud Nana to four little ones!

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

I am a retired City Councillor for the City of Surrey.

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

My first pride is my family. My other is my 13 years as a city councillor, helping to make the right decisions in developing our city so that people can live, work and play where they reside.

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

My father was a great social activist, always doing for others to make their lives easier. Whether that be developing plans to fundraise to build better schools in our community, organizing food and toy baskets for families in need at Christmas time and taking me with him to deliver them on Christmas Eve, or developing a start-up fund that he called “Pennies From Heaven,” where he collected pennies to send to Africa to build schools there. He also was the first to start Meals on Wheels in our city where I was born. He instilled in me the importance of giving back. And the importance of community. The project of Options will bring safe, affordable housing to women and families, which also creates a community of wellness in their lives. 

What are your social media handles? *

Twitter 

Facebook

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: Anita Huberman

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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 Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

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

My name is Anita Huberman and I have been the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade for the past 15 years. In this role, I work with my team to serve more than 6,000 member contacts, providing businesses and organizations with economic opportunities, connections, and more. I am also an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy.

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

I am the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.

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

Being the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, where I can make a difference to businesses and to our economy.

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

Affordable housing is an economic foundation. I believe that affordable housing should be called workforce housing, and Surrey needs to have housing options available to all income segments, offering quality workforce housing solutions. This building project will give individuals opportunities for productive pathways to give back to their communities and make a difference in their professional lives. 

What are your social media handles? *

Twitter 

Facebook

LinkedIn

Instagram

SBoT Twitter

SBoT Facebook

What is your web address?

www.businessinsurrey.com

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: Joan Forge

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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 Joan Forge, Retired Government Relations and Communications Professional.

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

My name is Joan Forge and I am a Retired Government Relations and Communications Professional. My professional career was spent in Alberta. My husband and I moved to BC in 2018 when he became President of the BC Lions. Since retiring, and with Covid-19 restricting travel, I am enjoying the time to develop a home-based handcrafting business called One Day Mercantile.

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

I am a retired Government Relations and Communications Professional.

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

First and foremost, our blended family and my daughter and grandchildren. Outside of the home, I loved the consulting business I built – helping companies develop and implement government relation strategies. Some of my most gratifying moments were the advocacy work I did with non-profit groups, along with a group of women in Edmonton, spearheading a fundraising dinner that has raised over a million dollars for ovarian cancer research.

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

I recognize the need for affordable housing in B.C. While thankfully I never required affordable housing, as a former single parent I do have a passion for helping others in that situation. My affiliation with the BC Lions and their Be More than a Bystander program in partnership with Ending Violence Against Women BC has increased my awareness of domestic violence and my desire to help people in that situation. The Women of Options affordable housing campaign will directly benefit the people in both these situations.

What are your social media handles? *

Twitter

Instagram

 Facebook

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: Rebecca Bollwitt

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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 Bollwitt, Digital Media Publisher (Miss 604/Sixty4Media)

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

I am Rebecca Bollwitt, I was born and raised in Surrey, BC, and I have lived in Vancouver for the last sixteen years. I have been working in the digital media space for the last 21 years and in 2008 I co-founded my own consulting firm. I am also the founder and publisher of Western Canada’s most award-winning blog, Miss604.com.

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

I am the co-founder of sixty4media and digital media publisher of Miss604.com.

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

I am proud that I have used my online publishing skills to support my community over the last two decades, through fundraisers, sponsorships, and campaigns I have helped local organizations big and small raise millions of dollars to support the extraordinary work they do. It was a very proud moment when I joined my first Board of Directors in 2016, working with Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC.

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

I grew up in Whalley and I want to see others who live, work, and play in the community have access to resources and most importantly – a place to call home. 

What are your social media handles? *

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

What is your web address?

miss604.com

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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