Welcome to our monthly update about First Call’s advocacy work and key developments in child and youth policy in BC.
Highlights this month include:
- First Call Fundraising Gala 2020 a Success!
- Fostering Change Campaign Update
- First Call Responds to BC Budget 2020
- Making Ends Meet Project Launch Event: March 7
Read on to learn more!
Yours for children and youth,
Adrienne, Helesia, Leila, Susan, Becky, and Emily
FIRST CALL FUNDRAISING GALA 2020 A SUCCESS!
Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, and participated in the First Call Fundraising Gala last week. We are so grateful for your support of our annual event and of First Call’s advocacy. We are proud to have welcomed Dr. Melissa Lem as our keynote speaker, who delivered a powerful and impactful address on how the climate crisis impacts BC children and youth. We are also honoured to have presented our 2020 Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award to the inspiring Executive Director of BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, Karen Isaac.
We are ecstatic to announce that we surpassed our $45,000 fundraising goal – we raised a total of $49,100! Thank you again to all our donors and supporters.
FOSTERING CHANGE CAMPAIGN UPDATE
We recently created an event calendar that details the next 6 months of the Campaign’s meetings and core event dates, including our annual 19th Birthday Party, Listening Event and 4th Annual Policy Solutions Day. More to come! We are also looking forward to the debut of CTV W5’s story on challenges youth face when leaving care that features Fostering Change’s Policy Solutions Day and members from the team. The story is scheduled to air on Saturday, March 7th at 4PM Vancouver time.
Also in February, Dylan Cohen left his role as one of the Fostering Change Campaign Organizers. First Call would like to thank Dylan for the creativity, compassion, and thoughtfulness that he brought to his advocacy work. Dylan has helped the Campaign grow in exciting new ways, and for that we are all very grateful. Feel free to reach out to Susan Russell, Fostering Change Campaign Organizer, at email@example.com with any questions about the campaign.
FIRST CALL RESPONDS TO BC BUDGET 2020
In mid-February, First Call sent out a special edition of our Weekly Newsletter to respond to the BC Budget 2020 announcement. The budget followed through on promises made in past budgets – including the BC Child Opportunity Benefit – but came up short on new initiatives and investments that would assist children, youth and their families.
The newsletter includes observations about what this budget means for families, specifically focusing on poverty reduction, child care, tax fairness, Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Public Education.
MAKING ENDS MEET PROJECT LAUNCH EVENT: MARCH 7
The Living Wage for Families Campaign is kicking off the recruitment phase of a participatory action research (PAR) project to better understand the experiences of those doing low-wage work. If you have lived experience with low-wage work OR you represent agencies, organizations, initiatives, communities, or families impacted by working poverty, please come to this event! Join us for a safe and engaging afternoon of food, art, storytelling, and community. This event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.
When: Saturday, March 7, 2020
Where: 312 Main Street, REACH Room, Ground Floor
For more information, contact Leila Trickey, Living Wage for Families Campaign Research Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-351-5430
Click here for more information about the project on the Living Wage for Families website.
FIRST CALL OUT AND ABOUT
On February 26, First Call hosted a meeting of organizations and programs serving youth who will be transitioning out of government care or have already transitioned out of care. It was helpful to learn more about what organizations are doing to provide support, and to discuss challenges, observed trends, and possibilities!
Susan Russell attended the Surrey Youth Advisory Wrap Up event on February 25, where youth from the Advisory shared their experiences in engagement and creating initiatives. Susan says, “it’s inspiring to watch my peers from care thrive in creative advocacy.” The Fostering Change Campaign met with visitors from Deloitte’s Japan division. The representatives met with the Campaign to ask questions about policy advocacy and youth development.
Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, and members from the Fostering Change Community Organizers did a joint presentation to the Langara Social Service Worker class on First Call, child poverty, and the Fostering Change campaign. Helesia Luke, Communications and Development Coordinator, tabled at the Health and Wellness Fair to a variety of municipal employees, media, and non-profit organizations.
Both Adrienne and Helesia attended the BC Budget Lockup in Victoria on February 18.
FIRST CALL CORRESPONDENCE AND PUBLICATIONS
FIRST CALL IN THE NEWS
- CBC News: Child care, housing top of mind for parents ahead of BC budget
- The Tyee: Budget 2020: New taxes on pop and the rich, plus a boost for health care
- Eagle Valley News: The price of poverty: Schools, community notice more people in Salmon Arm struggling
- The Similkameen Spotlight: The price of poverty: Schools, community notice more people in Salmon Arm struggling
- CBC Radio: B.C. child poverty rate falling, according to StatsCan data