Thursday, 11 December 2014

It's already December?!

The days go by so fast. I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of 2014.

This year has been evolutionary for Median. From hosting two large events to gaining so much volunteer interest and awareness in our community for Median. It is at this time that we need to shift our gears. We’re calling for all interested individuals with relevant experience in non-profit financials and program development to please apply to be part of our board. We also encourage those looking for non-profit management, event planning and community involvement experience to apply.

We are looking for passionate individuals who are wanting to make a difference in their community. Commitments are a one year term and involve quarterly meetings, occasional email or phone conferences equivalent to about 2-4 hours a month please see detailed posting on Charity Village here.

Please submit your application in the form of a resume and cover letter to by Wednesday, December 31st. Applications will be reviewed and interviewed in January and successful applicants will be notified by February.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Last month's Charity Craft Fair Vancouver was held at BCIT's Downtown Campus and raised $693 for Pancreatic Cancer Canada.

We also supported local charities such as the Shanti Uganda, Global Mothers, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Flowers for Food, Girl Guides of Vancouver and many more!

See our Charity Craft Fair website to see a list of this year's vendors, sponsors and amazing volunteers!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Charity Craft Fair is back!

The Charity Craft Fair is back this year! Happening on November 22nd at the BCIT Downtown Campus from 10-3pm.

This isn't going to be a repeated promo post about what you will find at the Charity Craft Fair but what I hope the Charity Craft Fair will mean. You see the constant posts on social media and maybe even see the posters at your local cafe constantly expressing how we aim to support local charities and bring our community together. This truly is what I hope this event accomplishes. It is one of life's most beautiful things: watching people help each other out of the goodness of their hearts. There are people within each organization that exist that have made it their career to support low-income seniors, to fundraise for cures and fight against marginalization. These amazing people have found the value of life not in the money they earn but the lives they impact.

Most people who know me might say I'm overly emotional, this might be true, but it genuinely provides so much meaning in my life to be surrounded by these selfless individuals and amazing organizations. I feel truly blessed and grateful to have this opportunity to provide our local charities a cost free venue to showcase what they do.

Come out and see what I am rambling about on Saturday November 22nd from 10-3pm at BCIT Downtown.

xoxo Maria

Monday, 1 September 2014

Awareness is key - human trafficking

I recently watched the movie Trade reminding me of the reality of human trafficking.

It was disturbing and deeply saddening that women, girls and boys can be purchased and exploited like a commodity. I sat there thinking what can I do? How can I attempt to create change so that perhaps in the future this social issue of perceiving people as entities that can be bought for sexual exploitation can be eradicated?

Here are a few things I came up as small steps towards creating change:

1. Spread awareness - prevent potential victims and deter predators 
2. Support organizations advocating for change in government & law enforcement services
3. Attend fundraising & education events supporting victims.

In British Columbia an organization called REED (Resist Expoloitation Embrace Dignity) does these exact things. Learn more about REED through their website and find out more about how you can make a difference:

Saturday, 30 August 2014

It's happening again!

The 2nd Annual MEDIAN Charity Craft Fair will be held at the BCIT Downtown Campus (555 Seymour St) on Saturday November 22nd from 10am-3pm.

Come support Vancouver charities by purchasing products that fund their programs while buying a gift for your loved one.

We are currently looking for interested charity and local business vendors to showcase their wares. Admission is by donation to cover venue costs.

All proceeds after venue cost is deducted will be donated to Pancreatic Cancer Canada - the nation's leading organization funding research and awareness for pancreatic cancer.

For more informaiton please contact:

This event is sponsored by:

Friday, 25 July 2014

Fundraiser Focus: Mark Angeles

Mark is joining the 7th Annual Glotman Simpson Cypress Challenge on August 16th a group of cyclists starting in Vancouver making their journey to Cypress Mountain to support pancreatic cancer research through the BC Cancer Foundation.

Mark has always been interested in cycling but it wasn’t until a fellow coworker had shared the Cypress Challenge that he rose to the occassion. He resides in South Vancouver and bikes 30 km daily to his workplace in Burnaby in preparation for his journey. His fellow coworker who is a Median Fundraising supporter noticed his efforts to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research and forwarded him over to us. Once hearing about Median Fundraising and Noel’s Story Mark became even more inspired to take this cycling journey seriously.

 “Cycling is all about the discipline to prepare for the ride, the strength to endure the ride and the feeling of success after knowing what you’ve accomplished. It’s an honor for me to do this on behalf of those like Noel who have lost their battle to pancreatic cancer” says Mark.

To support Mark and pancreatic cancer research through the BC Cancer Foundation donate to his page here:

Friday, 4 July 2014

Manicures with Beauty Night

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a shelter in the heart of the Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It was Beauty Night at the Women’s Centre in the First United Church and I was giving women of the DTES manicures.

I guess it was a bit surreal as I felt like I had been watching that new Netflix hit ‘Orange is the New Black’. By that I mean women had their little cliques and were so grateful for the little that came their way such as the dessert treat that they wrapped up into a paper towel for later or the little gift bag with travel size shampoo and conditioner they received. And then it got real - a woman came in with a glass shard in her foot and another bitterly reacted when a volunteer complimented her nails (she apologized in the end).

As I painted their nails (my best manicure effort to this day), I overheard them talking about their dating and family lives reminding me that we are all the same. We all have the same daily routines, cognitive thought processes and the need to nurture our relationships. I was reminded of how truly blessed and fortunate I am for everything I have and the opportunity I have to work for what I want. It was a grounding experience for me.

Towards the end of our volunteer shift the room to the beds were opened. Women walked into the room with all they had in their arms and laid themselves on a bed for the night. And some went back out into the neighborhood. This was my second week volunteering with Beauty Night. They provide these services to women 3-4 days every week at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland.

If you would like to volunteer with Beauty Night visit their website at or send me an email at

xo, Maria

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Our Community: Beautiful Women

Be-YOU-tiful Women

Beauty Night Society believes in the power of changing the lives of women and youth through the building of friendships, self-esteem and a healthy community. Founded by Catherine MacGillivray in 2000, Beauty Night Society visits shelters, health care facilities, transition homes and drop in centres in the Greater Vancouver area to offer makeovers, wellness and life skills development. Beauty Night believes strongly in the recognition and respect of human dignity, regardless of socio-economic status. With these values, Beauty Night has given over 38,000 makeovers since 2000. The services provided by Beauty Night Society, which include haircuts, brow shaping, relaxation massage, Pap awareness clinics, stress management workshops and vision boarding workshop among others,  are made possible through the support of volunteers, and community partners who serve over 250 impoverished women per week. Beauty Night is always looking for weekly volunteers as well as donations and donations of products to help continue their four beauty nights a week.  The Beauty Night Society is a beautiful example of building healthy local communities by inspiring our strong women to look out for themselves and one another as they support the framework of our society today.

Check out their website for more information on their upcoming events:

Strength Around the World

The Shanti Uganda Society seeks to serve the needs of mothers and children in Uganda under the vision that birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS will be empowered and supported to meet their full potential. Natalie Angell-Besseling began Shanti Uganda, a registered Canadian Charity, Ugandan NGO and Private Not-for-Profit Medical Facility, after volunteering as a doula in a local hospital Uganda. Natalie formed a connection with a group of women living with HIV/AIDs in Kasana who came together to generate income through the selling of paper beads for a community birth centre in the Nsaasi Village. The Shanti Uganda Birth Clinic was opened in 2010 and is registered with the Ministry of Health in Uganda. The organization highly values relationship building, holistic approaches, constant growth, unity and sustainability and demonstrates these values in their programs supporting maternal health, teen girls, community sustainability and women’s empowerment. Shanti Uganda sells their jewelry and bags made by the amazing team of women in Uganda, and also offers the option to purchase ”Gifts of Action” which are provided directly to the women in Uganda. There are many others ways to get involved with Shanti Uganda, including Doula training, prenatal yoga teacher training, hosting a Shanti Party, as well as volunteering locally or abroad in Uganda.

For more information:

Local, Natural & Women Inspired


Smell This! Aromatherapy is a great company to check out for your last minute Mother’s Day shopping. Located in Richmond, Smell This! is known for their variety of aromatherapy products that are not only sweet-smelling, PETA approved, eco-friendly and made with plant based ingredients, but also for their contributions to a number of organizations. They are a company that gives back to our community through donations to the Beauty Night Society, the Pink Shirt Day campaign, Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Relief Fund, and Movember Prostate Cancer Research. Smell This! offers a product for everyone, whether its perfume, lip balm, cleansers scrubs or insect repellent. Smell This! even offers a variety of products for men, children and pets. This local business is certainly an excellent option to check out for gifts for the loving mothers and women in your life.

Take a look online for more info:

Thursday, 8 May 2014

April's Community Focus: Urban Impact & Wasteaid

Local sustainabilty with Urban Impact

Making an Impact --- Nicole Stefenelli, founder of Urban Impact, has a clear passion for environmental protection, waste management, and local partnership. Building her initiative from a university project in 1989, Nicole’s vision that businesses could reduce their waste costs while conserving natural resources has come alive through this family owned and operated business based out of Richmond, British Columbia. Nicole’s vision has spread throughout the lower mainland as Urban Impact now serves the community with 5,500 locations from Whistler to Chilliwack.  Urban Impact offers a range of recycling, waste audit and secure paper shredding services within these locations with a strict importance on environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Urban Impact sets itself apart from other recycling companies with exceptional environmental performance and high standards of personal service, earning it “Top Private Sector Business in BC” by Recycling Council of BC. To encourage their zero-waste philosophy, Urban Impact has invested in two Materials Recovery Processing Plants located in New Westminster and Richmond. The company also maintains their carbon neutral operations goal with Hybrid diesel-electric collection trucks.

Looking beyond the progressive services offered by this company, Urban Impact has successfully contributed to their community and to the cause of environmental justice through means of education. The company has taken initiative to offer employee recycling education within the workplace setting and has committed to sponsor Grade 4 and 5 school tours of their plant in Richmond. The company also maintains a blog to spark conversation about the environment and our responsibility to protect it. Ultimately, by making small changes in our local workplaces and community environments, Urban Impact hopes to initiate large-scaled change in terms of the way we think about our waste.

For more information on Urban Impact Recycling check out their website: 

#PuttingitRight with Wasteaid

WasteAid is an organization that connects vulnerable communities to waste management resources and expertise. This organization was officially founded in 2013 out of a passion for waste management and international development. This passion was first fostered through a LinkedIn group named Waste Management for Development composed of global individuals who have a passion for waste management. Since its founding, WasteAid has attempted to connect global communities to a global environmental responsibility.

WasteAid believes that it is most important to understand the issue of waste management as a global responsibility and thus seeks to act as a resource for others looking to “put it right” in terms of waste management. On top of providing resources and connections to the emerging environmental management leaders, this initiative would like to bring together projects, ideas and knowledge that can be easily accessible to anyone looking to support this movement. WasteAid aspires to share this information via the web, so that it may be free and accessible to everyone.

In terms of waste management programs, WasteAid plays a key role in developing and perfecting pilot projects in order to ensure their success across a variety of communities. WasteAid also offers their expertise and input to projects of NGOs, especially in terms of brokering knowledge between different global regions, coordinating small projects to prevent overlap and offering seed funding to bigger projects.

There are many different ways to get involved. WasteAid offers memberships and roles on their Council. The organization can benefit from financial support through donations and project sponsorships, or through volunteering in a fundraising role. WasteAid can also benefit from an increased social media presence with the help of volunteer ambassadors via their social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and website.

For more information on Wasteaid check out their website:

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

High Tea Social Seminar Financial Release

We're so pleased to announce that the High Tea Social Seminar raised $1751.00!

Due to BC Gaming laws we were to keep raffle proceeds within the province, so we donated the $240.00 from the raffle to Beauty Night Society.

We're excited to see Pancreatic Cancer Canada put $1511 into pancreatic cancer research. Slowly but surely we will raise awareness and shortly after find a cure!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

In Gratitude

Its been three years since I lost my cousin to pancreatic cancer. Since then, Median Fundraising was created to shine awareness on under recognized causes and support local charities.

Yesterday, with the help of some amazing volunteers and inspirational women Median Fundraising put on a High Tea Social Seminar in support of Pancreatic Cancer Canada. The event featured Sadie St. Denis - Executive Director of the Shanti Uganda, Caroline MacGillivray - Beauty Night Society, Darcy Marquardt - Olympic Silver Medalist & KidSport Ambassador and Amy Beeman of the Beat 94.5 as the master of ceremonies. With live violinists and event sponsors - the High Tea was definitely a highlight of my year.

I don't feel I did a sufficient job thanking the right people yesterday (I was a bit frazzled as the rental company was picking up the tables).  So here we go...

To Sadie, Caroline & Darcy who I am so fortunate to have met this past year - your lives and your generous nature to give back to the community are so inspirational and motivating for me.

To Amy, I am genuinely thankful for your support with this event and for responding to my tweet :) It was truly a pleasure to meet you!

To Patricia & Jeremiah, the music of your violins truly heightened the atmosphere and nature of the event and I am truly grateful.

To Marie of M&M Indulgences, a sentence will never suffice my gratitude for your never ending support; I was told the food was amazing (I forgot to eat yesterday but I have eaten your food countless times) and presentation impeccable.

A great thank you to the event sponsors & contributors who made it possible for our event to raise more funds for pancreatic cancer research - OrcaCoast Playgrounds, Harvey Kemp Kok de Roca-Chan CGAs, Annemarie of Steeped Tea, A&B Partytime Rentals, Upright Decor, Champagne Dreams, Petit Four,  Sweet Rehab, LuvCravings, I Love Macarons, Society Restaurant, the Secret Garden Tea Company, the Shaughnessy, the Vancouver Art Gallery & Urban Impact.

To the Median volunteers, Alyssa, Junie, Jordyn, Janick & Hilary, a great big thank you for your time and efforts in assisting with the event.

And most importantly to the voluntary event planning committee, Adrienne, Alexandra, Amber & Andra, who have spent countless hours over the last two months working to ensure that the event was not just successful but that through it we could truly provide support to Pancreatic Cancer Canada.

This blog or any speech that I make can never fully capture my gratitude for this amazing community.

Maria Bernardo

Sunday, 23 February 2014

We're one year old!

I'm not sure if its from waking up at 4am to watch the Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team win gold or just the whole melange of emotion I am experiencing as I reflect on the past year with MEDIAN. It has been an ardous year filled with wonderful amazing people that I have met from Twitter, volunteer events or even through fundraising classes at BCIT.

I'm so thrilled and quite emotionally grateful for everyone who has support and continues to support MEDIAN. As on my webpage, MEDIAN exists as a means to provide support to local charities and organizations who don't have funds to hire an annual marketing/fundraising personnel. It is built on the fundamental of wanting to support those who can't support themselves.

So from a genuine place in my heart, I truly would like to thank my family, my friends who always seem to volunteer their time or find a means to show support and the community for always being a constant source of inspiration.

If you would like to learn more about MEDIAN and what we're involved in please check out our website of events:

Maria Bernardo