Longtime friends Michelle Kim and Rebecca Bollwitt are teaming up to sell Surrey “merch” for a charitable cause.
They’re two of this year’s Women of Options, a campaign that involves 50 prominent women each tasked with raising $25,000 to help Surrey-area youth in need.
Kim, a novelist and filmmaker, and Bollwitt, Metro Vancouver’s award-winning “Miss 604” blogger, have been collaborating on projects in Surrey since 1985. They met in Kindergarten at Hjorth Road Elementary and have been “BFFs” ever since.
Now they’ve led the production of Bear Creek, Green Timbers and I “heart” Surrey T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, mugs and tote bags, to be sold on iHeartSurrey.com starting Monday, July 4, for a very limited time.
It’s all done to benefit Options Community Services’ “Gamechangers” fundraiser, launch April 20 with campaign details and a link for donations posted to womenofoptions2022.ca.
The campaign goal is $1.5 million, the same target amount of the first Women of Options fundraiser in 2021 when money was directed to an affordable housing project in Newton.
“Options is primarily funded by various levels of government,” Bollwitt noted, “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.
For last year’s Women of Options campaign, Bollwitt created a “Surrey Nostalgia Collection” of T-shirts and other merchandise, in partnership with MAKE Vancouver.
Details about this year’s merchandise are posted on miss604.com.