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Sikh based groups form Virtual Vaisakhi to raise funds and give back during COVID-19 pandemic/Sikh Heritage Month

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As the world is faced with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a collective of local Sikh based community organizations have come together to celebrate Sikh Heritage Month and Vaisakhi by giving back.

The collective, through Virtual Vaisakhi (fundraising efforts) and invoking the Spirit of Vaisakhi (volunteer initiatives) are raising funds and working with existing community outreach and non-profits within British Columbia to help ease the related economic hardships faced by the communities in which we live and work.

“Every year there are many Vaisakhi Nagar Kiran events that bring thousands of people together to collectively celebrate Sikhi,” noted Jessie Kaur Lehail of Kaur Project/Virtual Vaisakhi. This year, we are directly asking and inspiring Sikhs and non-Sikhs to collectively open their wallets and hearts to help invoke the Spirit of Vaiskahi to address the most pressing and emerging needs with organizations working with local food banks, seniors outreach, marginalized communities and domestic support services. Let’s celebrate Vaisakhi by helping others. We’re all in this together and 100% of proceeds will go directly to community initiatives.”

Currently the collective includes Kaur Project, One Voice Canada, SAF, Khalsa Aid, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, SAMHAA, SikhRi, Future is Partnership, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, SEYVA, S.A.L.M.O.N Project and many others. Guided by the Sikhi based value of Sarbat Da Bhala (service to all) while practicing Charhdi Kala (expansive resilience) and Joash (vibrant courage) and a spirit of giving, Virtual Vaisakhi is asking EVERYONE to invoke the Spirit of Vaisakhi to raise financial support.

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, the Virtual Vaisakhi campaign and Spirit of Vaisakhi operations will continue nimbly align philanthropic resources based on emerging needs, prioritizing food, medical and emergency assistance for seniors, marginalized and domestic support services. As needs are communicated, it will be of utmost importance for Virtual Vaisakhi/Spirit of Vaisakhi to provide funding to these organizations rapidly.

Virtual Vaisakhi Donate Online

We’re tapping into the strength of collective giving to alleviate the public health and economic consequences of the coronavirus in British Columbia. Virtual Vaisakhi has committed to contributing 100% of money raised to community initiatives. To donate, visit the Virtual Vaisakhi’s website www.virtualvaisakhi.com

Spirit of Vaisakhi Operations

With a little less than one week in combining efforts, the following initiatives are taking place:

  • Over 1500 daily meals are being served
  • 100+ grocery/prescription deliveries
  • Glove and mask coordination/delivery
  • Health care snack/meal delivery

To volunteer or request help visit www.virtualvaisakhi.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.

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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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Tammy Bourelle

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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 Tammy Bourelle, Chief Operations Officer: Home Base.

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

My name is Tammy Bourelle. I’m a stay-at-home mom of two school-aged children. Before having my kids, I had a successful career in Sales and Management.

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

Chief Operating Officer – Home Base

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

My Marriage and my Children

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

Women and children in need and youth aging out of foster care have always had my heart. I’ve always wanted to help in my community and I look forward to getting involved in more campaigns.

What are your social media handles? *

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: Bo Long

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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 Bo Long, Homemaker, and Community Volunteer.

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

My name is Bo Long and I immigrated to Canada in 2005. Upon arrival, my family and I faced many challenges and fears including learning a new language and settling into our new life.

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

I’m a homemaker and community volunteer. I am active in my community including being a Rotarian and a member of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary. I am also a Chinese interpreter at Barkerville National Historic Site, where I share my cultural background with visitors.

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

I am most proud of myself for joining the Rotary and becoming an active member of the community.

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

At the beginning of my immigration experience, I took my two 10 years old children and got help from charitable organizations like options. I want to show our community housewives that we also can contribute to society and help others.

What are your social media handles? *

Facebook

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: https://womenofoptions.ca/#thewomen

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