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Nic Sun Shares His Love of the Outdoors Through the Raven Giving Fund

Nic Sun gives his cheque to the VASS
Nic Sun visits the VASS to drop off his Giving Fund donation in person.

As VP of Engineering, Nic Sun gives his all to every project he takes on. That means that Monday to Friday, Nic is ready, energized and enthusiastic about every proposal or client plan that he dives into. On the weekend, Nic finds another way to get his energy out- by making the most of the outdoor activities offered by the incredible mountains, lakes and oceans surrounding Greater Vancouver.

So when it came to deciding where to send his Raven Giving Fund donation, it seemed only natural that Nic would pick an organization that helps make the great outdoors accessible to everyone. That’s why, this year, Nic selected Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS) to as recipient of his Raven Giving Fund donation. Introduced in 2018, the Fund gives each of our employees $250.00 a year to donate to the charity or community group of their choice.

“Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports enables persons with disabilities to access the mountain experience, allowing them to discover their unique capabilities with the assistance of coaches and mentors,” he explains.

“Skiing and mountains have been a huge part of my life since birth. To me, nothing else in the world delivers a greater sense of freedom, joy and self-expression,” he adds. “These are all fundamental parts of the human experience that I believe all people are entitled to.”

Nic’s donation will help support VASS’s ski and snowboard programs for people living with physical and intellectual disability. This non-profit, membership based organization is run entirely by volunteer instructors who offer snowboarding, skiing, and sit-skiing classes for students of every level and any age group. 

Every instructor is Canadian Adaptive Snowsport (CADS) certified, and is dedicated to working side by side with VASS members to help them achieve their athletic goals. For some more serious members, that means preparing for races as a member of the VASS Blue Streaks Adaptive Alpine Racing Program. The Blue Streaks practice twice a week and enter general races hosted by the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski club.

VASS also hosts the annual VASS Cup event. The VASS Cup features snowboard, ski and sit-ski races, along with sledge hockey, an adaptive snow sports experience zone, a silent auction, and even a costume contest! This year, more than 300 people came out for this event, which raised $83,000 for VASS’s programs. You can check the VASS Cup in the media here.

Thanks Nic, for letting us know about this cool organization. To find out more, visit www.vass.ca.

Linna Luu’s Trip to Room to Read Tanzania

In 2018, Raven Supply raised $24,000 to fund 60 scholarships for girls in Tanzania participating in Room to Read’s Girls Education program. But while fundraising is very important, we believe that supporting an organization in full means meeting the people powering these projects first hand.

Linna with Room to Read staff in Tanzania.

Each year, we send one of our team members to visit one of Room to Read’s projects in the developing world. This year, Project Engineer Linna Luu hopped on a plane and headed to Tanzania to meet the teachers, families, and students participating in the Girls Education program there.

During her trip, Linna had the opportunity to visit two Room to Read schools- one in Kibaha and one in Kongowe. At every turn, Linna was welcomed by school management and teachers, who spoke highly of the progress they’ve witnessed in students that participate in the Girls Education program.

“The Room to Read staff were very friendly and knowledgeable. They were able to answer any questions I had about the program and the schools that we visited,” Linna remarks. “They were also very patient in providing translations for me while the classes were in session. They all care very much about the work they do with Room to Read.”

“I saw a library that was funding through Room to Read’s literacy program. The colourful decor within the library definitely made it feel welcoming!

Linna with Girls Education program participants

” She smiles, adding that the schools were larger than she expected, with multiple buildings and large outdoor play areas.

“The girls were all eager to participate in class, in contrast to my experience with school in Canada where the majority of my classmates rarely raised their hands,” she adds. “Additionally, they were awesome public speakers and killed the presentations and role play acts that were completed during class.”

Another special moment of Linna’s trip came in the form of a conversation she had with a mother whose daughter is enrolled in the Girls Education program.

“I spoke to a mother who was very appreciative of the work Room to Read does,” she recalls. “It was obvious she was proud of her own involvement with the program. Not surprising, as Room to Read’s success relies on support from the local communities.”

Linna with the Room to Read Tanzania team.

Speaking of community, Raven Supply is so grateful for our community of vendors and customers here in Greater Vancouver that make it possible for us to donate to Room to Read time and time again. Whenever we receive a donation, we match it dollar for dollar, and it adds up fast- to date, we’ve contributed over $170,000 to projects in India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and Tanzania.

Raven Supply gave our first donation to Room to Read in 2013. We picked this organization due to their impressive financials and their focus on educating disadvantaged children around the world. To date, we’ve contributed over $170,000 to projects in India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and Tanzania. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our Raven Supply community- thanks for everything!

A Year of Giving, and Why We Support Room to Read

Primary school students at a Room to Read school in Chalinze, Tanzania.

Raven Supply is thrilled to announce that this year, we raised $24,000 for literacy charity Room to Read thanks to the generous support of our customers and vendors.

These funds exceeded our initial goal of $20,000, and will be used to send 60 girls to school in developing countries around the world. Not only will this have a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of these girls, but this education will give them the tools to lift themselves out of poverty, contribute financially to their families, and avoid early marriages. According to the World Health Organization, for each year a girl attends school, her future earnings increase by 11%.

Throughout 2018, Raven Supply offered our vendors the chance to join us in supporting Room to Read. They have more than stepped up to this challenge by providing regular discounts on final invoicing prices for goods and services.  We took these savings and rolled them directly into these fundraising efforts. Not only that, but our remarkable community of customers made donations in many sizes, and we couldn’t help but to be inspired to match these contributions dollar for dollar.

Raven Supply has supported the work of Room to Read since 2013. This exceptional charity supports children’s literacy in 16 countries including India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Tanzania. Room to Read’s data informed approach to literacy programming includes opening school libraries, producing in-language children’s books, funding student scholarships and uniforms, and giving local young people leadership training so that they can advocate for girls’ education in their communities.

Students run to class at a Room to Read school in Mindutulieni, Tanzania.

In May 2019, our Project Engineer Linna Luu will travel to Tanzania to see Room to Read in action. During her trip she’ll spend time at a Room to Read school and get to know some of the girls participating in literacy and leadership programs there. We will be sure to share the story of her incredible trip here on our blog.

To date, with your support, Raven Supply has contributed over $170,000 to Room to Read projects. We sincerely thank you for your generosity, and look forward to announcing our 2019 fundraising efforts soon!

Happy New Year!