'Love It Or List It's' Jillian Harris provides seed money for Okanagan College student award | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Love It Or List It's' Jillian Harris provides seed money for Okanagan College student award

The Jilly Box Award was seeded by funds from Jillian Harris's quarterly subscription box and will go to underrepresented students at Okanagan College.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Okanagan College
August 22, 2021 - 7:56 AM

Kelowna influencer Jillian Harris is leading the way with a new financial award for underrepresented students at Okanagan College.

With a total goal of $50,000, the Jilly Box Award will give two annual $2,500 awards and "opportunities for mentorship" to select Okanagan College students who are Black, Indigenous or persons of colour, according to a press release from Okanagan College.

The first $15,000 of the award came from funds generated by Harris' quarterly subscription box, the Jilly Box, while subsequent donations will be matched up to $10,000.

"We donate a portion of our proceeds from The Jilly Box sales each quarter and this year we wanted to support the social issue of racial equity," team Jilly Box community coordinator Cynthia Pottinger said in the release.

Nearly $20,000 has been raised for the award so far.

READ MORE: Love It Or List It's Jillian Harris opening up her holiday-themed home for virtual tour

syilx Okanagan College student Sophie Wilson and her daughter.
syilx Okanagan College student Sophie Wilson and her daughter.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Okanagan College

"We will keep fundraising for this award fund in hopes that it will grow to become a self-sustaining fund that can grant additional and larger awards for years to come,” Harris said. “It is my hope that many individuals and companies will be inspired to donate. Thank you for supporting The Jilly Box Award and I look forward to making a difference with you."

More than 525 Jilly Box customers have donated as part of their purchases so far and fundraising will continue into the fall.

For one Syilx Okanagan College student and single mother, student awards have been vital in helping her through day-to-day life.

“For me to be able to provide for her, pay bills and rent. I am really thankful for the support," member of Penticton Indian Band and business student, Sophie Wilson, said in the release.

READ MORE: Writers group helping Okanagan College students cheat on essays, exams

A Jilly Box contest from Aug. 20 to 22 will give away one Winter 2021 subscription box, and participants can enter by donating at the Jilly Box website.

"These awards will support our efforts to advance an equitable and inclusive environment for all of our students," Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation executive director, said in the release. “Our thanks to Jillian and her team for supporting student success.”

Go here to learn more about The Jilly Box award or donate.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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