It was a successful result from the Sharing Kailynn's Sunshine online auction held over the weekend on Facebook.
"It when amazing, it was our best year yet," shared President of the organization, and mother of the late Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk, Sandra LaRose. "We raised $7,991, and we expect that to grow, as I've had a few people send me donations, and actually the donations were $22 each, in memory of Kailynn on her 22nd birthday, which was yesterday. So I'm going to open that up and any money that is donated will go directly to the Sweat Suits for Survivors."
The initiative was the idea of Kailynn's best friend Hanna Grieve, who found an opportunity to help out survivors of sexual assault by providing brand new clothing they can change into when theirs is taken for evidence at the emergency room. She has connected LaRose with an organization called SANE, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Read more HERE.
Anyone who wants to contribute to this particular effort can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We cannot give tax donations because we aren't or tax receipts because we are not a charity," LaRose clarified. "We decided this year because usually we say a portion of the proceeds because you know there's other things that we do during the year as well. But this year we decided the full proceeds are going to go to the Sweat Suits for Survivors because it's important."
She said their next step is going to be working with businesses to find a supplier that will give them the most for our dollar.
"I'm hoping that we can find somebody that we can get bulk pricing from, so perhaps we'll luck out and we'll be able to pay $10 for each piece of clothing, because the less we pay for the piece of clothing, the more pieces we can buy, obviously, so that's our next step."
LaRose said they will also gladly accept donations of sweatsuits and sweatshirts as well.
"They have to be new, so make sure that the tags are still on, and then we'll see what goes from here. It's not going to be all done in a day, I'm sure. It's going to take us a few weeks to get things organized and orders made and sizing chosen and meeting with SANE and possibly the SHA to figure things out."
"They are survivors. They've survived a horrifying, traumatic event and by calling them survivors, it gives them a sense of strength instead of calling them a victim," she explained. "They need to realize that they have the strength, and this project is for them to know that somebody's in their corner. We'll never meet them. They'll never know us. We'll never know them. And it doesn't matter. We just want to help them recover, grow and heal."
She said this wouldn't be possible without all the people who do the bidding on the weekend-long event.
"You have some nice friendly bickering on there because they're bidding on the same items, it's kind of fun to watch, and the businesses and the individuals that support us year after year," she noted.
"Without all of you, it wouldn't happen. I thank you from the bottom of this mama's heart, for helping see my crazy ideas through."
Since 2020, with only four auctions running for three days each, Sharing Kailynn's Sunshine has raised just over $30,000.
"So that would be like, in 12 days we've raised $30,000, and everybody supports us year after year, and it warms my heart. Kailynn's proud. I know she is. And this helps me heal. I've always done this to honour her."
"Everything that we do with Sharing Kailynn's Sunshine is all about Kailynn's life and celebrating it and honouring her, and just carrying on her compassion, her empathy, her giving, her soul."
LaRose said if Kailynn were here, she would have completed her university studies with the goal of working at the Weyburn Comprehensive School as an English teacher.
"She wanted to follow in the steps of Mrs. Moffatt, and be an English and creative writing teacher," she shared. "She would have been 'Moff 2.0'."
She said Kailynn never had a teacher she didn't like.
"She lucked out that way and her choice to become a teacher was because she wanted to help people, and being a high school teacher, she wanted to be that teacher who made an impact on her students' lives just like the teachers that she had made an impact on hers. Whether it was in Fillmore or Weyburn, she loved them all."
"When I do my Road Safety speaking and I talk to the students, I tell them your friends impact you in every part of your life. Teachers do, the same way. They impact your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, everything. And you need to honour and cherish that impact by doing good, loving others, and living your life safely."
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