Local turns COVID-19 lockdown into fundraiser for local youth

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(Image provided by Facebook)

The West Kootenay branch of the Take a Hike Foundation says while life in the pandemic has a fair share of challenges, a local mother is certainly making the most of it.

While working full-time from home with three boys, Melissa Gresley-Jones reached out to The Foundation through Facebook expressing interest in arranging a third party fundraiser.

Community Engagement Manager Karen Waldal says after speaking with the team, Melissa started her "39-chin-ups for 39-years” fundraiser on social media for her 39th birthday raising $1200 in four days.

Funds through Take a Hike go towards local vulnerable youth through counselling, education and community involvement programming.

The Foundation first hit the Kootenays in 2013 and operates in partnership with the Kootenay Columbia School District, supporting students primarily struggling in post-secondary settings.

For example, students facing chronic non-attendance or struggling with social issues.

Waldel adds that over the last five years the program has had a 100% graduate rate for grade-12 learners; she knows the program works and she knows it changes lives.