Launching on National Indigenous Peoples Day (Monday, June 21), the auction will run until Sunday, June 27.
Given the hardships of this past year and the recent discovery at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, the work Hope and Health does to support Indigenous youth has never been more important.
Deana Gill-Georgica, executive director of Hope and Health, says every contribution counts as all proceeds raised from the auction will go directly towards funding the continuation of their Hope and Health at Home programming.
This includes some new projects in the works, like the Virtual Champions Academy and H3 in the Garden, which looks to promote food sovereignty and strong nutritional practices. As well as the expansion of their current H3 soccer initiative.
'Caps players Jake Nerwinski and Maxime Crépeau are both Advisory Board members for Hope and Health and have been heavily involved in the soccer side of H3. The ‘Caps beloved mascot Spike also makes numerous appearances throughout the year.
“Whitecaps FC have been on this journey with us from the very beginning, from the very first Hope and Health community camp,” said Gill-Georgica. “Throughout the pandemic, the Whitecaps have shown up in incredible ways in terms of supporting us.”
Proceeds from last year’s auction directly funded Hope and Health’s virtual program, H3 Online. H3O was created as a way to maintain Hope and Health’s efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It allowed us to go into spaces and communities and expand soccer, and create an experience for children and families when their communities were shut down and sports stopped internally,” said Gill-Georgica. “We’ve been able to deliver soccer-based programming in very remote communities as well.”
Not only does Hope and Health aim to encourage kids to be physically active and develop their soccer skills, it also focuses on mental health by helping them learn how to practice mindfulness and self-regulation as a way to manage stress and anxiety.
While adapting to an online format came with its challenges at first, Hope and Health plans to move forward using a hybrid of in-person and virtual events to increase their reach and accessibility, even as some of the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Hope and Health teamed up with Whitecaps FC to hold a Spring Bootcamp at UBC using a hybrid approach this past March.
In this year’s auction, multiple 'Caps items will be up for grabs, as well as sports memorabilia autographed by various soccer stars like our own Maxime Crépeau, Alphonso Davies, and LA Galaxy’s Javier "Chicharito" Hernández. For the Canucks fans out there, an Elias Pettersson signed jersey will be available for bidding.
The auction serves as a way to celebrate Indigenous culture and amplify art and jewelry created by Indigenous artists, businesses, and community members. Tsleil Waututh artist Robert D. George has provided handmade deer hide drums.
“The artists and businesses that have come forward from Indigenous communities are somehow directly or indirectly connected to Hope and Health participants. We have parents that have reached out, or relatives, elders, grandmothers, [that] when we receive the gift, or when they reach out, they share a message of appreciation.”
One very special pair of handcrafted beaded earrings in the colours of the 'Caps 2021 Hoop jersey will be featured in the auction. The item was provided out of gratitude by a Haida mother whose son attended H3O.
Stz’uminus Nation community members also generously gifted 20+ incredible unique hand made items including a hand carved, hand painted cedar box, a devil’s club “snake” necklace, a copper bear bracelet and many more items.
“The only reason we were able to [run H3O] was from the funding from the auction last year, and then her son participated. Now she’s making us earrings in appreciation so it’s kind of this full circle,” said Gill-Georgica.
Fans can also expect to see items included from Hope and Health’s other partners, such as a Helijet roundtrip for four, and a $500 gift certificate to the Tigh-Na-Mara resort and spa gifted by Kw’umut Lelum.
We encourage 'Caps fans to participate in this exciting auction for an incredibly worthy cause by visiting http://whitecapsfc.com/auction.
For more information on Hope and Health, such as how to get involved/support their organization further, please visit https://www.hopeandhealth.org.