The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society is once again donating $36,000 to the YMCA’s Youth Mindfulness program over a three-year period. (Submitted photo: Dylan Van Rooyen)

Surrey firefighters society donates to youth mental health program, with help of vehicle raffle

Surrey Honda has donated a 2020 CRV to the charitable society

The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society is once again donating $36,000 to the YMCA’s Youth Mindfulness program over a three-year period.

Last May, the charitable society completed its initial three-year commitment of $12,000 a year to the Youth Mindfulness program, said society board director Dylan Van Rooyen.

READ ALSO: Surrey Schools pilots ‘stigma-free toolkit’ amid COVID-19 pandemic, May 2, 2020

Van Rooyen said the society hoped to be able to make another $36,000-donation over three years, when they were approached by Surrey Honda, who donated a 2020 Honda CRV for a raffle, with the goal of raising $100,000 through $20-tickets.

The partial funding for the Youth Mindfulness program will come from those ticket sales, Van Rooyen said.

“We’ve actually sold 4,000 of the 5,000 tickets,” he said Thursday (May 8), adding that the society is “quite confident” it well sell out of tickets by the end of May, a whole month before the July 1 draw.

“Despite everything, we’re actually really impressed and I guess the mental health initiatives thing couldn’t be at a more important time right now with the work, the stress, the anxiety. There has been a bit of a focus on the importance of mental health initiatives which I think actually has helped our ticket sales here,” said Van Rooyen, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The price point being $20, even though it’s not an easy time to ask people to contribute to a charitable initiative right now, $20 for most of us is still doable.”

Tickets for the raffle can be purchased online at surreyhonda.com/raffle-honda.

As for the Youth Mindfulness program, Van Rooyen said the YMCA introduced the society to the program when it was first started.

According to the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the program is for people aged 18 to 30, “who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety to learn and practice evidence-based strategies to increase coping.”

“Mental health is very important to us to all of us,” he explained, “but firefighters in specific, we’ve had direct impact here in Surrey, where we’ve had members impacted by different mental health challenges. Over the last five, six years, there’s been some heightened awareness for first responders in general to the importance of focusing on mental health initiatives for ourself, but also for everybody.

“We see that a lot of the calls we respond to, we actually notice that there’s a mental health aspect to many of these calls.”

Meantime, Van Rooyen said the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the charitable society’s fundraising efforts for the upcoming year.

“Our worst-case budget shows a decrease in funds raise by $250,000, which is 25 per cent,” he said. “The reason being, we are very event based, we don’t have any paid fundraisers on our team. Our strength is hosting an event that people want to come to where we can get them to part with the money and then donate it to a good cause.”

People can donate to the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society through its website, surreyfirefighters.com/charitablesociety.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Most Read