More than $50K to be donated to Vancouver organizations supporting solutions for at-risk and homeless youth
VANCOUVER, May 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Virgin Mobile Canada and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, announced today that they'll be donating funds to the Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC) and Project Limelight Society in Vancouver. Raised from the proceeds of the Virgin Mobile's 2011 RE*Generation phone, each recipient will be able to make new skill-building programs and services available for at-risk youth in Vancouver.
Arriving in Vancouver to announce the charitable initiatives were Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Cory Monteith, Virgin Unite ambassador and star of the hit TV show Glee. The grants, valued at $26,550 for Project Limelight Society and $25,000 for BYRC, were presented in Vancouver at Project Limelight Society's brand new venue on East Georgia Street.
"I love finding any excuse to come back to Vancouver, especially when I have an opportunity to work with Richard to help at-risk youth," says Cory Monteith. "By teaming up with Virgin Unite and the RE*Generation movement, we're finding real ways to end youth homelessness - especially in Vancouver where the need is so great."
"Whether it's youth homelessness or at-risk youth, a single program can ignite a spark for change," says Sir Richard Branson. "A year after Cory and I introduced the RE*Generation phone, Virgin Mobile customers have helped raise the funds to make promising progress. With 65,000 youth who don't have a place to call home each night across Canada, organizations like Project Limelight and Broadway Youth Resource Centre are urgently needed to create new possibilities for youth to access resources and services that normally wouldn't be available to them."
A Place To Call Home
Part of a brand new partnership with Virgin Unite, Project Limelight Society is a free theatre development charity that inspires youth to awaken their imagination and creativity within the arts. The Vancouver-based program gives youth the skills to discover new talents while developing the confidence to make lasting decisions for the future. As a grant recipient, Project Limelight Society will use their $26,550 donation to support their year-round performing arts program, ongoing theatre workshops and a food security program in their local community.
"The performing arts provide a creative outlet which benefits young people in all aspects of their lives," says Maureen Webb, co-founder, Project Limelight Society. "Performing on stage and bringing a character to life takes confidence, self-esteem and courage - strengths developed at Project Limelight! Thanks to this generous grant from Virgin Unite and RE*Generation, we can continue to provide and mentor young people in our community with the skills they'll need for all of life's decisions."
For more details about Project Limelight Society, head to www.projectlimelightsociety.org.
Serving The Community
Located in the heart of Vancouver, Broadway Youth Resource Centre has been giving young people the chance to learn and develop new life skills since 1999. From health to housing services and everything in between, BYRC has continued to be a flagship multi-agency organization for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver. Utilizing their $25,000 grant, the organization will be able to create warm and welcoming Resource Room that will allow homeless youth to access a wide range of services that will help them gain knowledge, skills and confidence needed to create a better life for themselves.
"At Broadway Youth Resource Centre, we aim to provide a one-stop centre to all at-risk and homeless youth in Vancouver," says Jocelyn Helland, manager, Broadway Youth Resource Centre. "Education, employment skills and counselling are just some of the services we can offer and with this RE*Generation grant, we'll be able to continue providing further programs to youth between the ages of 12 and 24."
Creating A Force For Good
The two grants presented today were generated by funds raised from the sales of Virgin Mobile's limited edition Samsung Gravity 3 RE*Generation phone. Fifteen dollars from the sale of each phone, which was introduced by Branson and Monteith in Montréal last year, was donated back to the RE*Generation Movement by Virgin Mobile and Samsung.
"The impact we can make in the community through partnerships like this are all thanks to the involvement of our Members who have told us time and again how it feels good to do good," says Andrew Bridge, managing director, Virgin Mobile Canada. "As part of RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile has launched several fundraising programs that have helped in our fight against youth homelessness. Programs like Change For A Dollar, A-list benefit concerts and releasing RE*Generation phones have raised more than $1.5 million for at-risk youth programs since 2008. We want to congratulate these fantastic organizations and our Members for helping to make such an amazing difference."
For both Members and non-Members, Canadians can help support the RE*Generation and do some good with three simple steps:
- Change For A Dollar: Virgin Mobile Members can add $1 to their mobile phone bill each month. The monthly dollar will then be directly donated to Virgin Unite and the RE*Generation movement
- Text To Donate: Canadians can donate $5 to Virgin Unite and RE*Generation by texting REGEN to 30333
- Sign The Petition: We're asking Parliament to recognize November 17th as National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day (NYHAD). Head to virginmobile.ca/regen to add your name to our online petition and help make NYHAD a reality!
To learn more about how you can get involved with Virgin Mobile's RE*Generation, head to www.virginmobile.ca/regen.
Virgin Mobile's RE*Generation Movement
In early 2008, Virgin Mobile Canada and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin group of companies, joined together to create the RE*Generation movement and empower a generation to help its own. We're bringing together organizations that care about Canada's homeless and at-risk youth and we're connecting them with people who want to help. RE*Generation is a movement to support solutions to youth homelessness and support at-risk youth programs in Canada. To date, over $1.5 million has been raised and dispersed to leading youth serving agencies across the country. The RE*Generation movement is working with a number of Canadian charitable partners to help get kids off the streets and onto a path for a brighter future. For more information visit http://www.virginunite.com or go to www.virginmobile.ca/regen to sign up and join the movement.
About Virgin Mobile Canada
Virgin Mobile Canada rewards, entertains and connects like no one else, delivering the hottest phones on the hottest 4G network. Virgin Mobile Members also get exclusive VIP access and deals and award-winning service. 91% of Members would also recommend Virgin Mobile to a friend.
The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 15 million customers worldwide. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations nationally including The Source, Virgin Mobile retail locations and additional retail partners. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 1-888-999-2321. Get personal with Virgin Mobile Canada on Facebook at facebook.com/virginmobilecan and Twitter at twitter.com/virginmobilecan.
About Virgin Unite
Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Our aim is to help revolutionize the way businesses, government and the social sector work together - driving business as a force for good. This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can tackle the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. Virgin Unite's overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of additional donations received go direct to the frontline where they are needed most. For more information please visit www.virginunite.com. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/virginunite and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/virginunite.
Image with caption: "Left to right - actor and Virgin Unite ambassador Cory Monteith, Maureen Webb, Project Limelight Society co-founder, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, Donalda Weaver, Project Limelight Society co-founder, Jocelyn Helland, manager, Broadway Youth Resource Centre, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, join young participants of the Project Limelight Society to announce Virgin Mobile Canada and Virgin Unite's $50,000 grant to Project Limelight and the Broadway Youth Resource Centre. www.virginmobile.ca/regen (CNW Group/Virgin Mobile Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120525_C2960_PHOTO_EN_14210.jpg
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