“When life gets tough, it’s not a change of life… it’s just another adventure,” said nine-year-old Abby Harris one day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She didn’t yet know that that quote would soon go on to raise over $1,500 in COVID relief money in the little town of Beausejour.
Ava Reis and Abby Harris were on FaceTime one night and decided they wanted to spark some change themselves.
“I had come up with this quote one day, and my mom said, ‘Oh that’s a really good quote,’” said Harris. “Then, I was talking to my grandparents and my grandpa said that I should turn the quote into a shirt.”
From there, the two ringette teammates started their journey of fundraising through t-shirt sales.
“I overheard parents talking about things that were struggling the most, and that was food banks, small businesses and medical centres not having enough supplies,” said Harris.
Harris explained that they used a connection they had to print and design the t-shirts.
“My dad knew these people at Sports Express. Ava and I designed it and got to choose where the quote would go and how it would look.”
The girls took their project to social media, “We made a video saying what it was about and how we made them.” said Harris. The girls tagged Team Canada ringette and hockey athletes to help spread the word.
Despite their young age, the ringette athletes have always believed in themselves and in their goal to help people greatly affected by the pandemic.
“Don’t listen to other people who break your dreams,” said Reis. “We also learned to always be kind and helpful.”
“I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter what other people say or think; it’s what you think you can do that matters,” said Harris, who is grateful for the sport of ringette that brought them together.
“My favourite part was being able to do it with Ava!”
Reis and Harris sold almost 100 shirts and raised over $1,500, which was split equally between the Beausejour foodbank and the medical centre, and they are currently in the process of finding the best way to support a small business in the community.