$20,000 TELUS Donation Brings Hope to the Downtown Eastside


WEBWIRE – Monday, December 24, 2012

Local students awarded $20,000 to bring their socially innovative idea to life and expand Hope In the Shadows

Vancouver, B.C. – This fall at We Day events across the country, TELUS asked youth to share how they would make a difference in their community – and they didn’t disappoint. North Vancouver’s Lindsay Rideout and Chloe Noel’s idea to expand Hope In Shadows, a program in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside, ultimately won the hearts of judges from Free The Children and TELUS. As winners of the TELUS for We Day video challenge, the two high school students have been awarded $20,000 to make their idea come to life with TELUS’ support.

“We were inspired by the hundreds of amazing video entries we received from young Canadians about their unique ideas to make a difference. These ideas motivated us and made us want to act,” said Jill Schnarr, Vice President, Community Engagement, TELUS. “We are thrilled to partner with such passionate young people who believe in stepping up to contribute to a better community through creativity, technology and innovation.”

“What we loved most about Chloe and Lindsay’s idea to expand the Hope In Shadows program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is that the heart of it lays in learning the residents’ real life narratives and giving them even more opportunities to tell their stories,” said Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder, Free The Children. “Not only is their idea scalable, making it possible to replicate in different communities, but it also uses the power of technology and social media, and at the same time, acknowledges the humanity within each and every member of the community.”

Lindsay and Chloe are both grade 12 students at Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver. They have been passionate about Hope In Shadows since the beginning of the school year when they learned about the organization in their Social Justice class. They have developed a fondness for the organization and helped sponsor the Exhibit of Hope event earlier this month where the artwork of the residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was displayed and available for purchase to raise funds for Hope In Shadows programming.

“Our class attended We Day Vancouver in October and we heard about the TELUS for We Day $20,000 challenge. With the encouragement of our teacher, we submitted a video about expanding the Hope In Shadows program into other parts of Vancouver,” said Chloe Noel, co-winner of the TELUS for We Day Challenge. “Lindsay and I are so excited to work with TELUS and Free The Children to generate awareness and participation in Hope In Shadows and help the residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside tell their stories through a personal lens.”

Hope In Shadows is a charitable organization that works with several non-profit organizations, focusing on Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside. Their main project each year is a photography contest and calendar created and coordinated by the Pivot Legal Society. This contest gives low-income residents of the community an opportunity to take pictures with single use cameras, sharing what the community means to them. Of the photos taken, 40 are selected to go into an exhibition, 12 of which are then featured in a calendar. Sold on the streets of Vancouver, the calendar provides opportunities for meaningful employment for people impacted by poverty.

TELUS’ community investment strategy focuses on educating and empowering youth to improve their quality of life and enabling them to reach their full potential. Since 2006, TELUS, its team members and retirees have given more than $3 million dollars in charitable donations and sponsorship funding to Free The Children, including the support of past We Day programs and events.

TELUS is a National Co-Title Sponsor of Free The Children’s youth empowerment event, We Day, when youth and educators from across North America join together with world renowned speakers and performers to celebrate and build the momentum of young people making a difference in their communities and around the world. Through We Day, youth learn that it is cool to care. More than 100,000 youth are expected to participate in We Day events in eight cities across Canada throughout the 2012/2013 school year.

To learn more about Chloe and Lindsay’s winning idea, visit telusforweday.com.

For more info on Hope In Shadows, visit hopeinshadows.com.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.0 million customer connections including 7.6 million wireless subscribers, 3.4 million wireline network access lines, 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 635,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.



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