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Online fundraiser auction helps Surrey charity open doors for those in need

Community has become more important than ever. The events of the past year and a half have made many of us realize how much our neighbours and community matter — and we’ve also had to reckon with some hardships within our communities a little more closely than before.

For Manny Kang of the Semo Foundation, community doesn’t mean a place where you live — it’s about how you live. Manny lost his beloved mom to cancer when she was far too young, but she taught him some important lessons that he’s carried forward and one that has given back countless times.

“Mum always said, ‘If someone knocks on your door, always answer — you never know; that person may just change your life,’” Manny says. “The Semo Foundation is our way of carrying on her legacy to help by answering that knock at the door.”

This year, instead of running their live-in-person gala fundraiser, the Semo Foundation is offering a Fundraising Drive and Online Auction running Nov. 19 to 21.

“Mum always said, ‘If someone knocks on your door, always answer — you never know; that person may just change your life,’” her son, Manny says.

“Mum always said, ‘If someone knocks on your door, always answer — you never know; that person may just change your life,’” her son, Manny says.

Heart of gold

Tarsem Kaur Kang, affectionately known as “Semo,” came to Canada in 1973 with her firstborn son to join her husband here. She had little English and little in the way of possessions but she brought an enormous heart that had love to spare. She put that endless resource to good use, fully integrating into her new home in Vancouver with her growing family.

“Mom was always involved in her community, she was happiest when she was helping people,” Manny recalls. “She always said that people need three things — food, shelter and clothing.”

And with those basics that bring human dignity, the thing that mattered most, the thing that money couldn’t buy, was that Semo made people feel welcome and valued.

With that simple idea of caring for others in mind, Manny and his family decided to honour Semo, continuing her legacy with the Semo Foundation, helping those in need of life’s basic necessities.

“We started small, and then some friends suggested that we should think bigger so we did, and in 2016, we hosted our first gala. From there, things have continued to blossom, with the gala gaining more and more interest and exceeding fund-raising goals every year.”

Funds from this year’s fundraiser will be distributed to local groups that include; Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Christmas Bureau, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Club Conquer and Team Keian.

Funds from this year’s fundraiser will be distributed to local groups that include; Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Christmas Bureau, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Club Conquer and Team Keian.

Visit the online gala auction for unique gifts and a great local cause

In 2020, the gala had to shift, like many things during the pandemic, to accommodate the restrictions on gatherings, so the online auction came to be. It was a huge success, thanks to support from local donors and the local community of bidders.

Funds from this year’s fundraiser will be distributed to local groups that include; Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Christmas Bureau, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Club Conquer and Team Keian.

For some, the pandemic has meant increased hardship and uncertainty: Now is the time to answer that knock at the door.

Donate today at semofoundation.com/events, or contact them here. Find them on Facebook here.

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