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Richmond youth-led organization provides care packages to those in need

Monthly care packages with high in demand items to be hand delivered by youth

Many are fortunate enough to not have to give a second thought about basic necessities, but a Richmond-based organization is hoping to provide essential items to those in need of them.

Jasmine Ren, president of youth-led Gogivers Foundation, said she wanted to make a positive impact in the community and help those in need who may have a hard time choosing between paying for food, basic hygiene items or clothing.

“We noticed a lot of non-profits focus on one specific item and we think sometimes it might not be as high in demand in one month in comparison to other months.”

The non-profit foundation has been fundraising and donating care packages with high in demand items each month since March 2021.

Recently, the organization donated 60 packages containing water, snacks, chips and fruits to people in Chinatown.

However, COVID-19 became a hurdle to them just like any other organizations.

Ren, who is heading into Grade 12 at Palmer secondary this fall, told the Richmond News that they want their team members to stay safe due to the ongoing pandemic so they had to find another way to reach out to people in need.

“Instead of just collecting what we think people needed, we contacted charities working with either the homeless or (people who) require help and ask them what items they are short on and we build our packages from there.”

She added that during the pandemic, there was a huge focus on mental health and they hoped to contribute to mental health awareness as well.

“Since we started, we always write a positive message along with every package we do distribute. These messages are written by our executive team and members.”

While Gogivers Foundation is Richmond-based, Ren said she hopes their organization can expand internationally.

“We believe there will be a post-COVID-19 era and with that in mind we really want to focus on mental health,” said Ren, adding that they will be promoting mental health awareness and challenges that the community can get involved with.

Ren told the News that despite being new, members of Gogivers have a list of events planned for the upcoming summer including distributing hot lunches to youth in need and hosting an online auction to fundraise for future care packages.

“We want to remind people that the things they don’t want or need anymore can be items that others who need in their lives and can help them.”