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I Am Someone joins forces with TELUS on texting platform for bullied youth

The I Am Someone Society officially announced its partnership with TELUS and bc211 to establish a texting program to link youth who are bullying or being bullied up with services and resoures. Above, the annual I Am Someone walk in support of youth. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE
The I Am Someone Society officially announced its partnership with TELUS and bc211 to establish a texting program to link youth who are bullying or being bullied up with services and resoures. Above, the annual I Am Someone walk in support of youth.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE

A long-awaited texting platform to support children and youth who have been bullied or who have other concerns has garnered the support of a major funder.

TELUS is committing $40,000 to the I Am Someone Ending Bullying Society to get the program up and running this September, with bc211, which will provide the resource and referral service.

This platform will enable youth dealing with bullying, as well as issues ranging from gangs, sexual exploitation, date violence, hate crimes, discrimination and abuse to send a text for support and assistance in finding help.

“For youth in a crisis, the ability to reach out for help in the most comfortable way possible is crucial,” said Port Coquitlam Mayor and society vice-president Greg Moore. “Through this partnership with bc211 and TELUS, we can offer that very important way to connect.”

In addition to the $40,000, TELUS employees have also raised close to $3,500 for the project.

“TELUS is committed to helping change lives through the power of technology,” said Jill Schnarr, vice-president, community affairs at TELUS, in a press release. “This new texting program will give kids who need help the opportunity to reach out for support using their smartphones — ensuring safer, healthier futures for our youth and our communities.”

FOR SCHOOLS IN TRI-CITY AREA

The service will operate as a pilot for public and private schools in the Tri-City area. It will launch early September and run between September and December, with hours of texting service Wednesday to Sunday from 3:30 to 11 p.m.

Society founder Gary Mauris, president of Dominion Lending Centres, is pleased a business has put its resources behind the project that got its start after a series of high-profile teen suicides in School District 43.

“This much-needed and truly appreciated business support is the original concept of how and why I Am Someone Ending Bullying Society was founded — businesses reaching out to support the very needs of the community to build stronger and healthier communities in which they conduct business,” Mauris stated.

If the pilot is successful, the texting program could be expanded to other communities. Donations are still needed however, and can be made through the Vancouver Foundation.

The society also holds an annual Walk to End Bullying and the next walk will take place in February, 2015.

More information is available at iamsomeone.ca or on Facebook.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

 

 

 

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