A few years ago when I was in Joshua Tree I saw this beautiful sign outside of a restaurant that was more or less like the logo above. The sign totally moved me and sparked this idea for me to recreate the sign, put it onto a shirt and sell the shirts to raise awareness on each topic that was currently being addressed. All the proceeds would then be donated to different organizations that would help with each of those topics. The BLM movement of 2020 is what finally pushed me to follow through with this idea and I finally created something that we could all wear proudly and become a group of people who speak up for the things we believe in and want to create positive changes for.
The first shirts I made in 2020 ended up raising $3100, with $2100 being donated to The BC Community Alliance (BCCA), a community based organization dedicated to combating the structural inequities created by anti-black racism. This organization resonated with me the most, as they're trying to find the root cause of anti-black racism in the school systems here in BC and want to implement black history to the school curriculum to help educate the kids. The youth is our future and I truly believe that if everyone would have been educated on this from a younger age, things would be a lot different now (visit www.bccommunityalliance.com for more info or if you'd like to help volunteer). I also reached out to my friend Kendall Gender, a huge supporter and advocate in the LGBTQ community, on where I could donate the rest of the money to. She lead me to the www.dmsvancouver.com website where you'll find a few organizations that need our help. Through there, I decided to donate $1000 to Rainbow Refugee, a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status (visit www.rainbowrefugee.com if you'd like to find out more info)
In 2021 we were able to raise $400, which I decided to donate to Spirit North, a national charitable organization that uses land-based activities to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous youth, empowering them to become unstoppable in sport, school and life. Through the transformative power of sport and play, our participants learn important lessons, discover untold potential and build the confidence and courage needed to overcome the hardships Indigenous youth often face (visit https://www.spiritnorthxc.ca/who-we-are to find out more about them).
In 2022, we were able to raise $1963 that was donated to our local SLCC, as a charity working to reclaim and celebrate the culture of the Lil’wat and Squamish Nation, creating meaningful employment to Indigenous youth.
This year I decided to make We Welcome. tote bags with all proceeds going towards organizations helping war-traumatized children around the world. I’ve found a couple certified associations that are providing therapy and mental health support to war-traumatized children along with workshops in cultural sensitivity, peace building and conflict resolution. If you know of any great organizations, please feel free to send them my way, as I’d love explore more options.
Tote bags are $25 each (with proceeds going towards an organization to help one of these topics) + $17 tracked shipping or local pick up on specific dates/times.
Thank you SO much to all of you who have purchased We Welcome. merch in the past - you have no idea how much it helps and how many more people will reach out to me because of it. The movement is real and we are making a difference together. Keep spreading that love!
SO MUCH LOVE, ALWAYS!