“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me,
‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
– Mr. Rogers
There is something timeless and beautiful about these words that are most often attributed to Mr. Rogers – though they might more fairly be attributed to his mother. As a non-profit, we are always looking for the helpers and we are fortunate to not have to look very far. We have a vast and growing network of helpers who come to us with their time, energy, compassion, talents or funds.
Sydney and Cari have taken all of these things and together with the unexpected gratuitous time on their hands, launched a business built to support Chai Lifeline.
“In order to keep busy as well as give back during these weird times, we decided to start making and selling comfy tye-dye clothing to wear while stuck at home,” Sydney told us. “We also wanted to ensure that a large portion of our proceeds would be going toward a great cause.”
These two friends each have a different connection to Chai Lifeline. Cari, 17, recalls that Chai was always there for her friend, Sammy, who battled cancer at 13 years old and is now cancer-free. Supporting Chai Lifeline is very personal for her, “when someone is an incredible support for your friend who is literally fighting for her life, you never forget that.”
Meanwhile for Sydney, 21, her connection to Chai Lifeline is through her family who have been long-time supporters of our children and families. Together with her grandparents, parents and younger siblings, Sydney has participated in Jump 4 Chai – even while she was away at school at McGill.
Giving back has always been a big part of their lives. Sydney was the Community Service Director at her high school where she organized and participated in initiatives for Free The Children (now WE Movement), Camp Ooch and promoted mental health awareness weeks. She also has spent time volunteering with children with autism. Knowing first hand how much support they needed in ‘normal times’ furthered her desire to give back to a charity like Chai Lifeline.
Cari is a grade 11 student at TannenbaumCHAT where she is involved in the Friendship Circle that is focussed on activities for children with special needs. Every Sunday she is paired with a buddy to hang out with for a couple of hours. She sees that it’s not only great for the children, but also for their parents. Though it is not quite the same, they are continuing to hang out virtually.
Without giving away their trade secrets, they have a special process that is literally a reverse spin on the traditional tie-dye, that takes the colour out instead of putting the colour in. It’s a learning process as they continue to refine it and they’re having fun experimenting with colours and fabrics.
They are keeping busy making their custom order tie dye pieces that they show and sell through Instagram @ReverseTieDye. There you will have full access to the styles and colours they have to offer and you can place your order there too. There is something for everyone. One-of-a-kind hoodies, crew necks, tees and sets for children, women and men, priced from $20. And of course they offer touch-free shipping, pick up or delivery.
Over the past month, they have made two donations to Chai Lifeline to support different programs and services that they care deeply about – counselling services and hospital services. They are seeing an increase in their orders everyday and they know that means that soon they’ll be supporting a third program for our children and families.
If you’re looking for a perfect gift for a special person in your life (which includes you), shop for a cause and comfort as outlined below:
They look great and feel even better.
Support a couple of young and creative entrepreneurs.
Give back to Chai Lifeline Canada with every purchase.
You’re a helper when you support the helpers too.