Working as part of the Community Investment team at TELUS has made me realize there are real-life superheroes in our midst. There are people out there who are truly remarkable and inspiring; those who make it their lifelong mission to selflessly and without hesitation give back to others.
In June, we launched our Give Where We Live campaign. We asked Canadians to share how they give back to the causes that are most meaningful to them. We received thousands of stories, photos and tweets offering a peek into many worthwhile causes and their champions.
There was one particularly moving post from a girl named Angel (such a perfect name to describe her). At 18-years of age she has seen more than her fair share of doctors and hospital rooms, but the most incredible thing is that she hasn’t let that get her down. Instead, she has used her experience as inspiration to set up her own not-for-profit organization, Hugginz by Angel, which brings comfort to kids when they need it most. Together with her mom Cheryl, and a team of close friends, Angel sews blankets for sick kids across North America. Once complete, she fills those blankets with love and prayers and hand delivers them whenever possible.
We reached out to Angel, eager to find out what TELUS could do to help. Her simple wish was to be able to bring comfort to even more sick kids. The biggest challenge she had was space – all sewing was done on the dining room table at the family’s home and an entire bedroom was being used to store her materials. She had friends who wanted to help too, but without enough sewing machines and a wheelchair-accessible space, they couldn’t do as much as they wanted.
So we knew what we had to do – build Angel her very own sewing studio, equipped with everything she needed, including new sewing machines, ample storage and even a new iPad mini to play her favourite 80s tunes while she works. Over the course of a few days, we painted, cleaned, assembled furniture and even helped build a deck. It was truly a team effort and labour of love. We were all driven by our desire to create something that would convey to her how moved we are by the work she does.
The day of the big reveal we gathered with Angel’s friends and family – everyone was silent as Angel and her parents drove up. When they got out of the car and saw the studio they looked pretty shocked! I don’t think they expected a gift like this. One of my favourite moments was when I heard Angel ask her dad if she could sleep in the sewing studio that night. That’s when I knew we had done what we had set out to do – celebrate this amazing girl by giving her the ability to give even more and thank her for embodying the give where we live philosophy we all hold so dear at TELUS.
Being a part of this has been one of the most meaningful things I have done in my career so far. I feel so grateful for the opportunity.
I invite you to watch the full story and share in this incredible experience. Want to know how you can help Angel do even more? For every Facebook or YouTube share and Twitter retweet of the video, TELUS will donate $1 to Hugginz by Angel up to $15,000.