Israel Garcilazo: #DontGiveUp

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Many young Canadians are facing a 360 degree squeeze. In Vancouver, things have gotten so bad that some people, like our own kinda-famous social media editor Jennifer Fox, see no reasonable choice but to leave.

Vancity Credit Union is one company that recognizes just how difficult things have become, and is inviting you to share how you're impacted with its #DontGiveUp campaign

The idea is to spark a conversation about the struggles of staying. We sat down with a Senior Marking Specialist at Vancity to learn more.

1. Tell me a bit about Vancity and the work you do there?

I work for Vancity, a values-based financial co-operative and Canada’s largest credit union, as a Senior Marketing Specialist. In the past 9 years I’ve worked on many campaigns promoting financial products, the launching of new products, climate change programs, special events and other initiatives. But what keeps me excited and motivated these days is the planning, development and execution of our upcoming campaign to engage with more people in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Squamish.

2. Vancity is located in Vancouver, the least affordable city in Canada. What are you doing to help with the Squeeze?

We all know that we’re living in one of the most expensive places in the world, and we want to give people a chance to tell everyone what it’s really like. There are housing concerns, environmental crises, rising food prices, and the fleeting hope we’re all feeling in regards to these issues. Is this as good as it’s going to get? 

This is where Vancity comes in. As a local credit union, we want to listen to what local people are saying and help find solutions. To achieve this, we are asking people to snap a 30 second video telling us how they’re affected by these issues and how they’re managing. We want them to think of it as their own personal diary cam, and truly giving us their candid heartfelt answers. We are asking people ensure to end their video by telling us why they’re not giving up. It doesn’t have to be super slick or polished, just honest and real.

We’ll look at everything that gets submitted and we’ll feature some of the video clips in our new advertising campaign, to be launched later this year. We want to show and share what it’s really like for people faced with the challenges of living in the Lower Mainland day in and day out, what solutions people may have found, and to keep the conversation going. Their video could be a part of Vancity’s new campaign! By submitting a video people will also be entered in a weekly draw to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. 

3.  How does “the Squeeze” show up for you in your day-to-day life? What excites you about Gen Squeeze?

It shows in me having to find creative ways to generate more income to enjoy what this city has to offer. Yes, many of the attractions that Vancouver has to offer are free such as hiking, cycling and endless walks along the beach. But who doesn’t like going out and have a good time with friends to catch up and release all the stress from day to day, and doing that cost money. Those social outing at times have to be compromised as everything keeps going up in price at a very fast pace: food, basic services such as internet and cell phone, and add to that all the bills we need to pay on a monthly basis.

I’m lucky to have entered the housing market just when it was started to go up, but costs associated with the maintenance of my home are very expensive too. My home has given me the opportunity to generate some extra income to live a more comfortable life here and provide a place for friends to come together and enjoy each others company without having to spend a lot of money out – not the best for businesses.

I’m glad to see organizations like Gen Squeeze and Vancity raising awareness and acting on these concerning issues. Vancity has always been an advocate for change and inclusion and with this partnership and campaign is giving a voice and offering solutions to those who are feeling the Squeeze. 


Vancity has been an early supporter of the Generation Squeeze campaign and we’re super grateful for their support. Visit www.vancity.com/DontGiveUp to learn more.

 


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