Say Thanks Surrey – started by Semiahmoo Secondary and Southridge students in response to the pandemic – has partnered with the Peninsula Village Safeway, where a donation stand has now been set up to support the campaign. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey lawn-sign campaign seeing success

Organizers of ‘Say Thanks Surrey’ says student-led initiative is expanding

A student-led initiative to support health-care workers during the pandemic is showing signs of success.

READ MORE: ‘Thank You’ sign campaign aims to raise money for Surrey, Peace Arch hospitals

According to organizers, the Say Thanks Surrey campaign – which provides people with a brightly coloured ‘Thank You’ lawn sign in exchange for a minimum $15 donation – has so far raised more than $1,000, and they’re optimistic that a recent partnership with a local grocery store will keep the total climbing.

“We reached out to the store manager around 3 weeks ago, and on Thursday (June 19) we went in and got the stand set up,” Cindy Zhang told Peace Arch News by email, referring to a connection made with the Peninsula Village Safeway (15355 24 Ave.).

“Safeway customers, as they enter and exit the store, are welcome to pick up a sign and make a voluntary donation.”

The non-profit campaign was launched in early May by a group of Semiahmoo Secondary and Southridge School students. Gary Xie told PAN at that time that he and his sister Lisa started the project after seeing artwork in the community thanking frontline workers.

“We thought the initiative might help build community spirit and a feeling of solidarity in the current times of uncertainty,” Xie said.

The number of students involved quickly grew to more than a dozen.

The yellow signs – which can be delivered or picked up, upon donating – provide a space to write the name of the person, or people, you wish to thank. Each sign also contains the phrase, “Hope and gratitude are more contagious than any virus.”

Zhang said this week that the group is “pleasantly surprised” with the campaign’s progress. All donations received through the effort, she noted, will benefit Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary or the Surrey Memorial Hospital Covid Response Fund.

Donations for lawn signs may still be made at

Another positive to come out of the campaign is an invitation to complete a mural on a wall near the hospital, Zhang said.

Three or four design options are to be sent this week to the strata that owns the wall, she added, with the actual painting to take place in July. A $1,500 Rising Youth grant will cover the costs of the mural, she said.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to

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