Each year, The Vogue Charity Fashion Show Executive Team is faced with the important task of selecting a charity to support. The decision is not easily made; there are thousands of charities across the world that VCFS would love to work with. In part, the choice is determined by the goals of the Executive Team and the difference we help to make through our efforts. After careful consideration, we are excited to announce that Jack.org has been selected to be the recipient of the funds raised by the upcoming year’s fashion show. VCFS hopes to assist in the outreach to youth across the country, by raising funds and awareness to shatter the stigma around mental health. By partnering with Jack.org, we hope to bring comfort and support to students across the country.
The transition from high school to university can be a particularly difficult one and Jack.org knows this all too well. The organization was founded in 2010 as the legacy of Jack Windeler, a first-year student at Queen’s University who tragically took his own life. To help support students during this transition, one Jack.org initiative at Queen’s directly targets first-year students:
Unleash the Sunglasses is a student-led initiative that was piloted at Queen’s during frosh week in September 2013 and has been going strong ever since. Students fashionably raise mental health awareness by distributing green sunglasses that introduce mental health as an important topic and encourage students to access resources on campus from day one. The sunglasses have a link to a Queen’s resource webpage on the arms where students can find more information about how to get help for themselves and their peers. It’s a powerful way to open up the discussion about mental wellbeing from day one.
Donations from VCFS will also support Jack.org’s “Bounce Back” program. “Bounce Back” is an academic monitoring system that flags students with a sudden drop in performance for intervention. This initiative helps Queen’s to identify at-risk students, invite them to interact with services that will enable them to build their academic skills, and serve as a contact point to refer students to mental health support as needed.
This charitable organization focuses on bringing forward the sensitive topic of mental health, encouraging students to take care of themselves and their peers. With a focus on youth, Jack.org hopes to save and improve lives through a reduction in youth suicide and increased wellbeing of Canada’s young people. By effectively targeting young Canadians from all backgrounds, this initiative draws in individuals and communities that have been traditionally difficult to reach.
Vogue Charity Fashion Show has planned many different events throughout the year leading up to the show dates of February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd to maximize funds raised and to reach our goal of a $45,000 donation and raise awareness of mental illness. With donations from VCFS, Jack.org will be able to continue running important programs already in place, as well as bring new initiatives to the Queen’s community. They will be able to engage more students in the conversation about mental health and improve the wellbeing of students on our campus and beyond.