Through June 15, Herschel Supply is donating all profits from online sales of its face masks to programs that help front-line workers and families in need
Our weekly series celebrates organizations that are stepping up to help their community
As we get ready to kick off a new month, many B.C. businesses are slowly starting to reopen. Amid this cautious optimism, we must keep supporting each other until we all find a way to navigate this new reality. Thank you to all those who have been working the front lines and keeping the community running by providing essential services. We’re also grateful to everyone who has submitted their stories over the past few weeks and to all of those businesses and other organizations that have gone above and beyond.
The Langley-based group benefits brokerage and consultancy has seen how employees are making big contributions to their workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the company has committed $10,000, in $500 increments, to recognize 20 people making a difference. Ascension is asking its clients, who work with front-line organizations such as care homes and hospitals, to nominate everyday heroes who show selflessness, give their time, perform acts of kindness or otherwise positively impact someone, with no material benefit to themselves.
This week, the industry association announced three major donations to local organizations supporting British Columbians in the wake of COVID-19. BC Turkey Farmers donated $10,000 each to the Breakfast Club of Canada, Potluck Catering and the Union Gospel Mission to support food programs that help keep Canadians fed during the pandemic. This gift follows last month’s launch of the Wishbone Project, the Turkey Farmers of Canada’s national umbrella for giving. To start, Wishbone donated $50,000 to Kids Help Phone and another $25,000 to support groups fighting food insecurity across the country.
In this Facebook group, men throughout the province surprise each other with whisky, beer and other items in gift baskets. The idea is to connect people and help lift, er, spirits during these crazy times. BC Whiskey Wizards is also raising funds by selling stickers, as well as planning a group fundraiser at a local pub, with all proceeds going to charity. The group, which is taking donations via its Go Fund Me page, has chosen to support Canuck Place children’s hospice.
To help the local arts community during COVID-19, the Vancouver-headquartered real estate developer is offering ten $500 grants to artists. This supplement is aimed at low- and moderate-income earners who have suffered hardship because of the pandemic. The application deadline is June 5, and you can apply for the grant here. Cape Group is also planning rental projects in its home base of Mount Pleasant that include artist studios.
Mindful that charity begins at home, several local business heavyweights—including Michael Audain, Jimmy Pattison and Allan Skidmore—have joined forces to create the COVID-19 BC Christian Leaders Response Fund (CLF). As CLF notes, about 80,000 of the province’s senior citizens live at or under the poverty line, many of them in single-room dwellings and long-term care. To help vulnerable seniors and inspire others to act, the group has raised almost $800,000 of its $1-million goal, with funds going to 16 faith-based nonprofits.
The Vancouver-based law firm has launched a charity partnership and fundraiser with Sole Food Street Farms. By converting vacant land into urban farms, Sole Food grows artisan produce and provides jobs for people facing employment hurdles such as addiction, poverty, housing insecurity and mental health problems. Because the pandemic has greatly reduced its sales to restaurants, the outfit is donating produce to front-line organizations feeding Vancouver’s most vulnerable. Through its fundraiser, Harris—which has committed to match up to $20,000 in donations—hopes to raise $50,000 to support Sole Food’s efforts.
To help relieve the shortage of personal protective equipment, the Vancouver apparel company pivoted from athleisure wear to consumer-grade face masks. This early move saw a surge in demand, enabling Hero to hire local staff when many were getting laid off. The company is also supporting fellow small businesses by sourcing all of its materials locally. Using a buy-one-give-one model, Hero has donated more than 1,000 of its FU and SJ masks to local front-line workers. For free shipping, use the #Stayhome checkout code.
The bag maker, which bills itself as a travel lifestyle company, recently launched We’ve Got Your Back. Among its projects, this initiative includes a commitment to donate $500,000 worth of bags to workers at health-care facilities throughout North America. Vancouver-headquartered Herschel is also producing non-medical face masks for sale on its website, with all profits from orders placed by June 15 going to We’ve Got Your Back programs for front-line workers and families in need. As well, the company has launched a North America–wide donation effort that lets people nominate schools in their community to receive backpacks.
Through its emergency fundraising campaign, Conquer the Curve, the national charity aims to combat involuntary isolation among Canadians with physical disabilities. March of Dimes Canada, which offers services and support to the more than 6.2 million physically disabled people in this country, wants to help keep them independent, empowered, and involved in their communities during the pandemic. Funds raised through Conquer the Curve, which was developed pro bono by creative agency DDB Canada Vancouver, will support new virtual programming, technology and other critical services, March of Dimes says.
A supplier to the live events industry, staging specialist Scene Ideas is fighting to stay in business during the pandemic. Without any large-scale events on the horizon, the Richmond-based company has capitalized on its strengths as a custom manufacturer and builder by offering operational health and safety solutions, including personal protective equipment and Plexiglas barriers, to help businesses reopen. Among its new products is a series of lawn signs bearing positive messages such as “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.” Signs are $20 each, with $10 from each sale going to the Connecting Kids’ Fund, an offshoot of the CKNW Kids’ Fund. Help Scene Ideas reach its $2,000 fundraising goal by ordering signs from the company website, which offers free contactless delivery or shipping via Canada Post.
The influencer marketing firm is working with thousands of micro-influencers across Canada to promote struggling restaurants that remains open for safe takeout and delivery. Creators are using their social media prowess to inspire followers to order their next meal from a local eatery. With more than 20 restaurants signed up to receive this free marketing, Vancouver-based ShopandShout’s influencers have already accumulated 120,000-plus impressions across Instagram.
Based in Vancouver, Tru Earth makes an eco-friendly, plastic-free laundry detergent strip. Because each strip weighs less than 5 percent of the equivalent traditional laundry detergent, the product has a much lower transportation-related carbon footprint. Since April, Tru Earth has donated enough detergent for 1,100,000 laundry loads to more than 75 organizations, including Food Banks Canada, Vancouver General Hospital and Philadelphia’s Share Food Program. Want to contribute? The company will match all orders purchased online.
If you know a B.C. business or other organization that is going above and beyond to help others during the pandemic, drop us a line! We’d love to feature them in this weekly series. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org