Shop, knit, dine for World Mental Health Day

Amanda Todd Legacy organizing several projects to raise awareness about mental health and support youth

World Mental Health Day is soon approaching and there are numerous ways to participate.

Whether you like to shop, knit or crochet, travel or dine out, there is some way you can show your caring for others, says Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd and the founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society.

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For the third year, merchants are supporting the legacy fund in support of youth and mental wellness by donating gifts for the online auction, taking place through Oct. 14.

The legacy has created a global campaign of awareness called Light Up Purple for World Mental Health Day. 

This year’s online auction offers more than $20,000 worth of gift certificates for restaurants, shopping and hotels, jewellery, pet supplies and more and Todd said the money will go towards a number of local projects.

When Amanda died by suicide after posting a video of her experience of bullying and harassment in 2012, there was no legacy and the “conversations that weren’t had back then are in the forefront right now,” Todd said.

Among the projects on the go is the Legacy Scarf Project, in which local knitters and crafters are donating scarves, hats and blankets that will be emblazoned with the Legacy logo and hashtag #Caring4Others and donated to people who can benefit from them, Todd said.

Gently used scarves, hats and blankets will also be accepted and given out as the weather turns cold.

As well, the online auction will support the Starfish Pack program, which provides food in backpacks for Port Coquitlam children, the Get Out! Unplug to Connect program to encourage youngsters to connect with nature, the Enchantment Project that supports School District 43 graduates with gowns, grad photos, tuxedo rentals for their Grade 12 celebration, and music therapy scholarships with the Douglas College Foundation.

Todd said the legacy fund is also supporting Emotions BC, which provides families facing mental illness with help, knowledge and support, with a local support group to get underway in the Tri-Cities this month.

“It’s all about how we need to care for others,” Todd said of the legacy fund in memory of her daughter Amanda.

In addition, the Coquitlam restaurant Wings is taking part by donating partial proceeds from the sale of specialty wings and drinks to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund. Todd said the Say it with Wings Fundraiser was the brainchild of Jeff Perham, the restaurant's director of marketing and business development, who said he wanted to support the aims of the society.

“He was passionate about the cause and he knew about Amanda’s story,” Todd told The Tri-City News.

Say it with Wings runs Oct. 1 to 14 at Wings restaurants (the Coquitlam location is at 345 North Rd.) as well as other locations around B.C.. The company will donate $1 from every order of their fall featured Pumpkin Spice wings to the Amanda Todd Legacy.

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