Local entrepreneurs donating portion of their sweater sales to help youth
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
With roots in Sioux Lookout, two friends, Chelsey Greig and Gillian Mann are creating sweaters with an uplifting message, while donating 20 percent of each purchase to the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre’s (SLMHC) Mental Health and Addictions Program (MHAP) Youth Program Fund.
The vibrant sweaters read, One Breath at a Time, reminding people to breathe, inhale and exhale, as we continue to swerve through the pandemic, shared the duo.
“I just thought we’re both from Sioux Lookout, or have lived here…so it made sense to kind of just go and support Sioux Lookout and the surrounding communities that Sioux Lookout supports. We found that the mental health and youth program foundation, that is a part of the hospital, was a great way to spread the funds,” said Greig. Mann added that it is especially important during this time of COVID, where mental health is being drained from a lot of people, to support initiatives like the MHAP Youth Program Fund.
SLMHC Treasurer Rita Demetzer shared, “I am thrilled that Chelsea and Gillian have chosen to donate 20 per cent of each One Breath at a Time sweater to the Mental Health & Addictions Youth Program Fund through the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre Foundation. I think it’s wonderful for young entrepreneurs to want to give back to the community they live in, or lived in and it’s very much appreciated.” She added, “Funds raised could be used for equipment and/or staff training that would assist youth with addictions and/or mental health issues.”
Greig shared that in the process of navigating her way through some mental health challenges that she had recently been facing, that she decided a sweater with a positive message would be a good reminder and coping mechanism for her. Greig reached out to Mann, who runs an online shop, for help with creating the sweater.
Noticing a fondness among people for the sweater they had created, Greig shared that they soon opened it up for purchase. “I made a post about it through my personal Facebook, and it kind of blew up, with people liking the sweater and just enjoying the saying. Then we kind of went from there. We opened it up to others to start purchasing this sweater.”
The have recently also introduced t-shirts for sale. These tees and sweaters can be bought through Mann’s emerging Etsy shop, Bean Stuck Designs, at https://etsy.me/2RYA9gx. They have donated $688 in total, with plans to donate funds bi-weekly going forward.
“Because my shop is worldwide…we’ve had sweaters ordered from the United Kingdom, and then down South in the United States, as far as I think, the furthest one was Florida. So, we have a really good reach on it right now and just watching how many people are connecting with the message behind the sweater, has been amazing,” said Mann.
Greig thanked everyone for their support with this initiative, enabling the duo to contribute and bring focus to the importance of mental health, while spreading some joy.