Fifty local women are coming together and committing to raise $25,000 each for a youth discretionary fund at Options

by rebecca bollwitt for
Last year, fifty women (myself included) came together to fundraise for a new affordable housing build south of the Fraser in honour of the 50th anniversary of Options Community Services. The Women of Options campaign began in February, and in November it reached its $1.5 million goal. The group’s efforts had such an impact that the organization has once again assembled a mix of senior executives, volunteers, celebrities, and leaders in their communities to raise funds for youth in the community with this year’s campaign: Women of Options Gamechangers!

As one of BC’s largest, and most respected non-profit community organizations, Options Community Services is seeing a variety of unique and critical needs amongst local youth in the South Fraser area.

Options is primarily funded by various levels of government yet are constrained in using funds to support these needs due to the number of youth who require unique support, and the variety of situations that cannot be met within a program or designated funding’s parameters.

Urgent youth needs that Options team members are seeing include paying for clothing or dental work so youth can attend a job interview with pride, covering daycare or tuition costs for a young mother to complete an educational program, getting endangered youth to a safe place, and addressing urgent issues faced by youth who have aged out of the child welfare system and lost their supports.

“We see youth needing our help to purchase clothing for a mother’s funeral or a young person who needs immediate re-location and support to escape the threat of a gang,” says Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services. “Our government funding is vital but youth needs are increasing and require immediate action and financial resources. This new fund will help to support at-risk youth with what they need, when they need it.”

The Women of Options 2022: Gamechangers fund will remove barriers by providing critical funding to work with youth from a wide range of backgrounds, including newcomers, unemployed, street entrenched, pregnant and parenting, those affiliated with gangs, those seeking their high school diplomas, and others.

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