A much-coveted subscription box from Canadian influencer and Kelowna local Jillian Harris will open up more than just surprises for recipients, but opportunities to support a generation of historically excluded students at Okanagan College with every subscription sold.
Jillian Harris, through her fall Jilly Box, is raising $50,000 to create awards for Indigenous students and students of colour at Okanagan College.
“We donate a portion of our proceeds from The Jilly Box sales each quarter and this year we wanted to support the social issue of racial equity,” says Cynthia Pottinger, community coordinator for Team Jilly Box. “We believe that access to post-secondary education plays a major role in creating a more equitable and fair society so we are thrilled to work with the College to support students and relieve some of their financial burdens as they pursue their educational endeavours.”
The Jilly Box is seeding the fund with $15,000 and subsequently, will match donations up to $10,000. When the goal of $50,000 is reached, the fund will offer two annual awards of $2,500 as well as opportunities for mentorship, to OC students for the next 10 years.
So far, more than $19,000 has been raised, including the seed funding, with fundraising continuing into the fall. 527 customers of The Jilly Box have donated as part of their purchase and the expectation is to grow this number significantly by the end of the campaign.
“We will keep fundraising for this award fund in hopes that it will grow to become a self-sustaining fund that can grant additional and larger awards for years to come,” says Harris. “It is my hope that many individuals and companies will be inspired to donate. Thank you for supporting The Jilly Box Award and I look forward to making a difference with you!”
Helen Jackman, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation says the new award fund is an important part of the College’s ongoing commitment to enhancing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“These awards will support our efforts to advance an equitable and inclusive environment for all of our students.” she says.