Non-profit organization selling handmade tie dye sweaters to raise money for DTES

Leda Omid / May 15, 2020

Ella Ching
(@ellasolnes / Instagram)

Ella Ching, a Queen’s University student, who returned home indefinitely after classes transitioned to online, formed a non-profit organization, Dye Supply, to support Vancouver’s vulnerable, Downtown Eastside.

“During a time of crisis I can be using the resources that are available to me to do something that’s beyond just myself and I think that I’m definitely in a position of privilege within this time and I recognize that and want to use that to my advantage to contribute in a positive way.” – Ella Ching, Founder of Dye Supply

Tie dye setting.
(@ellasolnes / Instagram)

Ching is hoping to ease the disproportional impact that COVID-19 is having on its people. She is making handmade tie dye sweaters and selling them to her followers on Instagram.

“I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the people down there. When I was in high school, I was in a social justice class that would make occasional trips to Downtown Eastside.” – Ella Ching, Founder of Dye Supply

Ching is selling hoodies for $50 dollars and crewnecks for $40 dollars. 100 per cent of profit from selling the sweaters, Ching will be donating to Downtown Eastside Response.

“Between 150,000 and 154,000 dollars has been raised, and I want to to say that this number is mostly individual contributions from folks like me and you. we are not talking about thousands of dollars from the city or corporations, it’s just everyday folks just trying to help out and that’s a pretty incredible number.” – Daniyah Shamsi, DTES Response Member

Ella Ching modelling her handmade hoodie.
(@ellasolnes / Instagram)

According to DTES Response, there are 15,000 people at risk in the Downtown Eastside which include 3,000 who are unhoused and 4,700 at high risk in privately run SRO’s.

“My dad always made a really big effort to make sure that my brothers and I were aware of the community in Downtown Eastside, and he really shed a lot of light on the fact that this is a depressing issue in our own city.” – Ella Ching, Founder of Dye Supply

Ching hopes her work will help the people in need during these difficult times and bring a community together.