A few months back, Team Sales president Moreno Stefani stepped up to produce CHEK TV’s Rock for Relief concert t-shirts, with all funds supporting the Vancouver Island Rapid Relief Fund.  The limited shirts sold out in days, and now, Stefani has a new philanthropic venture.

“We married up the business community and their charities to come up with a way to help them through this pandemic,” said Stefani.

With many local businesses and charities under unprecedented hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19, Team Sales started a campaign to assist both at the same time. Each business has been supplied their own branded t-shirt, supporting their charity of choice. Proceeds from the shirts support both the business and the charity.

“It just seemed like a great initiative to partner with local businesses and charity of choice it just made sense with what’s going on with the world and I just loved the whole idea of it,” said Andrea Minter, owner of Russell Books who’s teamed up with Victoria Literacy Connection.

From Lions Pride Gymnastics partnering with the Goldstream Foodbank to Max Furniture uniting with Lifetime Networks, it’s a chance for both sectors to raise some much-needed funds.

“We are supporting Shoes For Youth program, which helps provide shoes for youth in need and makes sure that people have access to sports equipment and stay healthy and active,” said Nick Walker, co-owner of Frontrunners.

“It’s people working together and that’s why we called it YYJ Community United,” said Stefani.

Most of the charities involved rely on event fundraisers which have taken a major hit due to Covid-19 restrictions, and may not be up and running for the foreseeable future. Therefore, COVID-friendly campaigns like custom shirts have become part of the solution.

“The vast majority of the support that we’re able to achieve through our events is through partnerships through small businesses. So if small businesses hurt, we hurt. So this truly is a win-win concept for small businesses and charity as well,” said Shaun Cerisano, philanthropy manager for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Though everyone involved has been impacted by the economic collapse due to Covid-19, there’s still a strong sense of hope and optimism.

“It’s really become evident over the past couple months how close this community is and connected this community is and we all work together to be better,” said Walker.

For more information on the campaign visit https://yyjcommunityunited.itemorder.com/sale.


Kevin Charach