A campaign, called Abby Strong, began this week to raise funds for the families of the two girls who were stabbed in a brutal attack on Nov. 1 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
The project features the sale of Abby Strong T-shirts and bumper stickers in Abbotsford Senior Secondary’s colours.
The initiative was spearheaded by Josh and Gina Vanderheide, owners of Field House Brewing Co., and is a collaborative effort with several dozen Abbotsford businesses and the City of Abbotsford.
Together, these community partners have raised $20,000 to start the project.
Gina, who is a teacher at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School and was at the school when the tragedy occurred, felt compelled to do something to help.
“Our intention is more than just financial support,” said Gina Vanderheide. “We developed the Abby Strong initiative with the common goal of displaying strength and resolve in our community in an effort to spread a positive message of hope in the wake of this terrible tragedy that has shaken the entire community.”
Today, the organizers will be providing a T-shirt for every student and teachers at Abby Senior, along with window stickers as a show of support from the community.
As part of the campaign, organizers are encouraging people to post pictures of themselves wearing their T-shirts on social media and tag #ABBYSTRONG as a show of solidarity for the cause.
T-shirts sell for $25 and stickers are $2. They are available starting today (Thursday) at city hall, the UFV bookstore, Field House Brewing Co., Spruce Collective, Whatcom Wine and Spirits, and Highstreet shopping centre’s guest services.
Other businesses ending their support are Brickhouse Signs, Alliance Clothing and Klaassen Business Group, as well as Tourism Abbotsford and the City of Abbotsford.
Anyone wanting to order more than 50 shirts is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
All proceeds will go to the families of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer, who was killed in the attack, and her 14-year-old friend (who can’t be named due to a publication ban), who was seriously injured.