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Abbotsford youth ambassadors selling toques to reduce homelessness

Students from Dasmesh Punjabi School volunteering with Raising the Roof
Raising the Roof toques are $15, and there are also mask and toque packages available for $18. (

Two Abbotsford students are hoping to make a difference for people living in poverty.

Ravneesh Dhaliwal and Maneet Sidhu have become youth ambassadors, volunteering their time for a Canada-wide organization called Raising the Roof.

“We aim to raise awareness about the people going through poverty in Canada,” Dhaliwal said. “Our goal is to spread awareness about an issue that has been recurring, and also motivate young people to show as much support as they can.”

People can show their support by purchasing a toque, hat or face masks through a website run by Raising the Roof.

Each year, their national toque campaign sees hundreds of volunteers and supporters selling toques across the country, with proceeds going towards homelessness prevention and affordable housing initiatives. Since 1997, the annual campaign has supported nearly 200 community agencies across Canada, raising more than $8 million to date in support of long-term solutions to homelessness.

“We would appreciate everyone spreading this message to their family and friends to raise awareness and help put a end to this ever-lasting situation,” she said. “Another way to help our campaign is to show some support and buy our toques which are sold for $15 each.”

There are also ball hats for $15, toque and mask packages for $18, and masks for $5 each. There are several colours and styles, with different sayings and logos on them, including one toque that reads: I give a damn.

The students attend the Dasmesh Punjabi School in Abbotsford, in Grade 10. They heard about the organization through school counsellor, and decided to become ambassadors to help the situation in their community.

To make sure that your purchase goes toward Team Ravneesh and Maneet, purchase through this link:

Fifty percent of all purchases go to local partner groups, staying in this community. The other half goes toward Raising the Roof’s national initiatives, such as Reside. Reside transforms vacant buildings into homes for people who are or may become homeless while training and employing people with barriers to employment, supporting them with wraparound supports and connecting them to employers.

READ MORE: Abbotsford has seen more than 13,000 COVID cases since beginning of pandemic


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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