Our brave and charitable team members will be participating in the first Fly For Families challenge where they will be skydiving from an airplane to help raise $750 in donations each and awareness for the Tom Harris Fund for Families.
Tom Harris Fund for Families
To honour and continue Tom’s legacy as a family man and community leader in philanthropy, Tom Harris Cellular has created the Tom Harris Fund for Families. Every year, this Fund will give back to families in need in the local communities that Tom Harris Cellular serves.
Between March and June this year, the Fund aims to raise $25,000 through Tom Harris business partners, local community events, customer donations, and employee contributions.
Large celebrations will be held at Tom Harris Cellular locations on June 29, 2018, where a portion of profits will be added to the donations raised.
Tom Harris was a charismatic and loving father, husband, and successful businessman who built the Harris Auto Group on Vancouver Island and Tom Harris Cellular, Canada’s largest TELUS dealer.
Tom always cared for the community, giving back through numerous leadership roles in Community organizations such as the Nanaimo United Way, Nanaimo Community Foundation, and Nanaimo District Hospital Foundation.
Sadly, Tom unexpectedly passed away at the age of sixty-seven in Roche Harbor, Washington on June 29, 2017.
The total donations raised will be given back to families in need through the YMCA-YWCA to send hundreds of kids to summer camp this year, who wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity.
Please read their stories and help support them towards their fundraising goals.
We were a family of 3 boys raised by a single mother. I am so thankful that my mother never gave up trying; sacrificing her needs for ours, even with the little that we did have. We didn't get to do much of anything and camp was certainly never in the picture. I remember having to drop the basketball team because we could not afford the travels. In some ways I felt really discouraged and missed out. This is a privilege to be a part of potentially changing someone through this experience. Maybe there is a friendship for life that is created as they meet someone at camp. Maybe we ignite a passion in another kid that sparks something in them that they end up doing something extraordinarily profound as they get older because of them getting this experience.
At first the thrill of jumping off a perfect plane fascinated me which is why I jumped into this opportunity as soon as heard about it. In fact, I would jump to any opportunity that comes my way if I know that it will be a good thing for me and for people around me. I’ve come from the Philippines where moms leave their families to send their kids to school and make sure that they have education and better life than they had. I grew up with my grandparents helping me raise my barely one year old sister and three younger brothers. It was an old fashioned strict upbringing where I wouldn’t even know what birthdays are like with my friends. I’d go straight from school to taking care of everyone. I finished my university with determination that my mom will be proud of me one day, that her absence was worth it and made sure that my siblings were well taken care of. I am honoured to work for a company that cares for other people. This is an opportunity for me to share that excitement that I never had growing up with other kids.
Fairway Plaza, Lethbridge, AB
Growing up my parents would always take in my siblings and mine friends, they would live with us and be part of our family due to them being in poor living situations with their own parents. I watched my parents try to provide for other kids as their own, pay for them to play sports, go camping with us as a family, go on trips, even just giving them lunches to take to school, while also taking care of a family of 6 of top of that. My parents really taught me to be more involved, and give a helping hand where it’s needed. A little can go a long way and change someone’s life!
Having raised my children as a single mother I know firsthand the struggle in trying to provide just the basics. When it came to the extras like dance class, sports and summer camps, despair would set in as these things just couldn't happen. The Tom Harris Funds for Families is going to alleviate that stress for many families and I am happy to participate. I can now do for my grandchildren what I couldn't do for my kids and I'm happy to help someone else's kids as well.
Head Office, Victoria, BC
My sisters and I were raised in Calgary by European parents who were really hard-working. We were pretty young when my mom started having health issues, she was in and out of the hospital for most of my age 9,10 & 11. When she finally started feeling better, my parents decided a few years later to take in Foster care kids, this had always been my mothers dream as she loves children and wants to help anyway possible. It was amazing to see the difference in these 2 little kids from when they first came to us to when they finally left. Unfortunately, we were unable to take anymore as my mom’s health started to deteriorate again, which we later found out was Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve seen how quickly life can come at you with unexpected situations that you have no way of controlling it. I am thankful that I have this opportunity to help a family out there.
Growing up my mom would always tell me: “A small act of kindness that you might forget about in a few hours may mean the world in someone else’s life” and I try to live my daily life with that quote in mind. I am so passionate about Tom Harris’ Fund for Families because I have so many important people in my life who have to struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. I always do as much as I can to give back to those who are struggling whether it be through donations or even my spare time which is why I feel so proud that the company I work for shares the same values as me. Having this platform is such an amazing opportunity to involve my friends, family and other members of my community with Tom Harris’ legacy because it is going to help so many families who need it.
My big goal for wanting to help support this campaign is to get our friends and families motivated to help give back to the community. I'm very passionate about this because it gives us a chance to give back and help those in need. "Giving is not just about making a donation, it's about making a difference". That quote strongly resonates with me because it doesn't take much to impact a family's life for the better. To have the opportunity to do that with Tom Harris Fund for Families is just an amazing chance to help those within our communities
Eagle Landing, Chilliwack, BC
I've had the opportunity to support a similar organization in my community that provides shelter to homeless and at-risk youth. I'm incredibly excited to be able to offer my support to a fund that goes to entire families in need, in addition to what I've already done to help youth and teens in need. Community support is very important to me and, if what I do positively impacts those around me, I can go to bed at night feeling as though I've accomplished something good. I'm proud to be working for a company that shares these values and can't wait to see what we can accomplish as a team for these families.
Skyway Centre, Calgary, AB
I grew up with a deaf mom who wasn't able to find work due to her disability, growing up we lived penny to penny, low income housing, food bank and help from friends and family- I watched my mom struggle daily, I've heard her cry herself to sleep some nights. As I got older I learned the value in helping where and when you can. The best part even though I struggle myself, is how good it makes you feel to give back. It's true what they say "A little help can go a long way."
Fairway Plaza, Lethbridge, BC
Muhammed Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” When I was growing up we had very little, but my parents always had enough to give. We spent holidays working in soup kitchens, and regularly helping the people in our community. The foundation of who we are as people begins in the home and I believe that navigating through life is hard enough without the concern of where the next meal will come from, or where to sleep for the night; and it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we are able to rise together.
East Hills Shopping Centre, Calgary, AB
I have been the recipient of funds like these, the very kid this helps out. My mother worked multiple jobs to make sure she could supply my brother and I with every basic need. As a young single mother she was constantly judge and told she irresponsible for having kids so young. It put a lot of pressure on her to be the perfect parent. She wanted to make sure we had the best childhood possible. Having avenues like this available to families that struggle to make end meet at times, helps in way you can’t even imagine. I’ve witness this firsthand, and was as grateful then, as I am now.
Town Centre Mall, Powell River, BC
The reason that Fund for Families hits home for me is because I have been a single parent for my daughter's entire life. Its hard to make ends meet these days when the cost of basically everything is skyrocketing. I understand the struggle to catch up on bills and provide the essentials for my family and that's exactly why I am doing this fundraiser, for the less fortunate families who need that helping hand.
Port Place Mall, Nanaimo, BC
I grew up with a single mom raising three boys on a shoe sting budget. I have seen the struggles my mother had to overcome.I saw that everyday for her was I fight as she would work 12 hour days and then come home to cook and clean with no time for herself. We had to make many sacrifices to get by and at times when i was younger I didn't understand why we never had things that most others did... Now with all that being said I also remember all the support that had been provided to my family and how much that impacted us and how much hard it would have been without any help. I have been helped and now i want to do what I can to help others
RioCan Meadows, Edmonton, AB
I want to do this fundraising because I believe that “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with Love!” I want to step out of my comfort zone and want to challenge myself because if I could stand in an open airplane doorway two and a half miles above the ground and let myself to step into empty space, then I could do anything !
Crowfoot Centre, Calgary, AB
I have always cherished volunteering and helping out those in need, but when this opportunity came about it was something more than just supporting a good cause. It's allowing me to step out of my comfort zone and do something that I don't think I would have ever done on my own - jump out of a plane! I'm so glad I work for a company that truly cares about their employees, but most importantly the communities they serve. I can't wait to see the total amount we raise and to allow families the opportunity to have a better quality of life.
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