Options Community Services is still fundraising for their ‘Women of Options 2022: Gamechangers’ campaign, to help what they say is an increasing number of youth in Surrey needing support.
With an original goal of $1.5 million, Options has lowered its target to $1 million in light of the rising cost of living affecting the community. With a $50,000 donation, however, Coast Capital Savings has stepped up to support the campaign.
“Gamechangers” involves 50 women working to raise $25,000 each, with efforts from the 2021 campaign directed towards an affordable housing project in Newton that is being built and is expected to be ready for occupancy by the fall season, said Ginny Hasselfield, Options’ director of development.
“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,” Options’ chief executive officer, Christine Mohr, said in a news release.
“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.”
Although funding from the government is provided to Options, officials say it is not enough to support the number of people who turn to the organization for help, seeking a variety of supports.
Because of the growing demand, the organization began fundraising a couple of years ago so they could begin venturing into building affordable housing for their clients, said Hasselfield.
Team members at Options are seeing youth who need help paying for clothing, dental work, daycare and tuition, while also helping youth who have aged out of the child welfare system and no longer have access to those supports.
Surrey has the largest youth population — individuals aged 12 to 27 — with Options Community Services supporting about 3,500 youth in their last fiscal year.
To donate to the campaign, visit womenofoptions.ca/2022gamechangers/