Canucks Autism Network and Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society launched a social media campaign on Tuesday, with the charitable society donating $1 for every share or repost on social media. (Screen grab: Canucks Autism Network)

Surrey firefighters donate $5K to Canucks Autism Network in social media campaign

Post has more than 3M views on Instagram alone; $25K raised in total so far

When the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society partnered with Canucks Autism Network for a social media campaign to raise funds and awareness for autism, the society figured it would reach $5,000 by the end of the month.

In less than two days of the campaign being shareable online, the $5,000-goal was reached.

READ ALSO: Surrey firefighters reach $1-million milestone in giving, Dec. 14, 2018

On Tuesday morning (April 2) at 10 a.m., Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society (SFFCS) and Canucks Autism Network (CAN) launched a “Did you know?” video on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about autism during Autism Awareness Month. For each share of the video, SFFCS would donate $1.

“We were hoping by the end of the month, to hit 5,000,” said Dylan Van Rooyen, director of the charitable society.

Halfway through Wednesday, he said, he realized they hit the $5,000-mark.

“Tuesday had a bit of a slow start. It didn’t really pick up on the Surrey fire’s pages or anything. I was kind of monitoring the Canucks (Autism Network) page. Then Wednesday morning, all of a sudden, it started picking up on Instagram. I noticed it hit 20,000 views, and I looked back a half-an-hour later and it jumped to 40,000, (then) 80,000.”

As of 9:21 a.m. on Thursday, CAN announced it would be capping the SFFCS donation at $5,000, so the charitable society could maintain other fundraising commitments.

Then, Vancouver International Airport stepped up to match another $5,000. Since then, BMO, AIG and Canucks for Kids Fund have stepped up with an additional $5,000 each, bringing the total raised to $25,000 in a little more than two days since the campaign started.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, the reach, the exposure with this campaign. It’s unbelieveable,” said CAN marketing director Lindsay Petrie.

“We have a lot of families who look to us for support every year, and we aren’t able to accommodate all those interested in participating in our programs, so every dollar counts.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the original Instagram post on CAN’s account had been viewed more than 3.5 million times with more than 600,000 likes.

View this post on Instagram

*UPDATED Apr4, 4:13pm • INCREDIBLE! After originally capping the donations due to overwhelming support, we have received more financial contributions from the community bringing the total raised to $25,000!! ⁣ In addition to the @SurreyFireFighters donation of $1 for the first 5,000 shares, @YVRAirport, @AquiliniDevelopment @BMOCanada & @CanucksForKids have all stepped up with an additional $5,000 each!⁣ ⁣ Thank you to all who have shared our #autismawareness & #acceptance video!⁣ ⁣ These funds represent an incredible contribution to our programs, training and awareness initiatives that will have a long-lasting impact on individuals and families living with autism across BC.⁣⁣ ⁣ We invite our supporters on social media to continue sharing the video message to further promote autism awareness and acceptance. ⁣ ⁣ If any other businesses or partners would like to join in supporting the continued reach of this campaign, we would love to hear from you!⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ Link in bio to full details. #CANDidYouKnow

A post shared by Canucks Autism Network (@canucksautism) on

“Clearly the Instagram post is what’s really taken off,” Petrie told the Now-Leader.

Petrie said the funds will go directly to delivering programs and training initiatives.

For more on the campaign, visit canucksautism.ca/blog.

Van Rooyen said the charitable society was glad they could help to bring awareness to CAN.

The society’s relationship with CAN, he said, started about three years ago when one of the firefighters wanted to co-ordinate training for first responders by bringing in Canucks Autism Network to train the fire responders on how to deal with someone who has autism in an emergency.

“It’s something we see on a fairly regular basis,” said Van Rooyen, adding that it was a successful training and open house.

RELATED: Families with autism invited to Surrey fire hall for ‘Sensory Friendly Open House’

A sensory-friendly event for families and individuals living with autism is planned for the fire hall at 88th Avenue and 132nd Street on Sunday, April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Families are invited to meet their local fire fighters, and participate in activities such as a station tour, truck tour, and hose station. This event is open to all families living with autism. You do not need to have a CAN membership to attend,” according to a post on the CAN website.

Registration isn’t required.

With files from Tom Zillich



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Just Posted

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

Surrey youth ‘REWIRE’ in play-creating project that involves a lunar eclipse and video games

‘It was such a fun process to create a play from scratch,’ says Guildford Park Secondary student

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read