That young guy fitting your boots and skis this year just might have been homeless in Vancouver, or at risk of being homeless, just a few weeks ago.
The same might be true for the young kid bussing at the Roundhouse at the top of Whistler Mountain, or the youth serving food at the Rendezvous on Blackcomb.
But instead they found Zero Ceiling and its signature program called "Work to Live."
And now life is very different now for one youth from D'Arcy and three Vancouver youth.
"November's always the hardest month because they're required to be here at the beginning of November for their training with the mountain and then there's no work for a few weeks," said Kasi Lubin, executive director of the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada. "It's challenging for them. But, at the same time, they have a home, they have a bed."
For this non-profit, charitable donations are crucial to maintain programs like Work to Live.
That's why Lubin is excited about the new Pique Newsmagazine program to drive donations to the Community Foundation of Whistler, and hopefully from there into her organization.
SHARE Whistler is the Pique's call to action for the community over the next six weeks. It will match donations up to a total of $10,000.
CFOW executive director Carol Coffey said it was off to a slow start this first week but she's confident interest will pick up in the lead up to Christmas.
The slow start is good news for the handful of people entered to win the first pair of Prior skis or board.
By either donating $50 or volunteering five hours of time to work with one of the charitable organizations or non-profits ( Pique will donate $10 for every hour), there's a chance to win.
"There's more than one way to win," said Coffey. "One advantage of getting your name in earlier is that it gives you a greater chance to win!"
Every week a name will be pulled at the Pique on Wednesday morning. All the names will go back into the draw every week.
"Raising money is always a challenge for every non-profit and so when other people kick in to raise money it's amazing and very much appreciated," said Lubin.
The campaign is designed not only attract new donors but specifically to entice people 35 years old and younger to think about donating and getting involved in the community.
"It's definitely our target audience," said Lubin of the group.
And she added, every donation, even the small ones, adds up to make a difference.
The CFOW is like the community's savings account. Donations are collected and put into a bank account. The money makes interest and that interest is divvied up to charities and non-profit organizations in the community. To date, the CFOW has raised $3.6 million, dispersing $850,000 of that by the end of this year in the past eight years.
Zero Ceiling has its own endowment fund within the organization. It sits at $5,550. Last year because of the economic climate there was no money flowing from the fund. This year they got $250.
The organization got a further $1,500 from the Jill Ackhurst Social Action Fund grant for life/skills program to run with Work to Live.
Zero Ceiling also provides day visits for 300 to 400 youth to come to Whistler to snowboard or mountain bike.
Lubin said:" There are just so many great kids out there that just get so lost."
HOW TO DONATE:
Go to www.whistlerfoundation.com or www.piquenewsmagazine.com and click on the SHARE Whistler logo. The CFOW will forward donations (net of 3.9 per cent CanadaHelps processing fee) directly to the donors' charity of choice no later than Jan. 31, 2012. Be sure to identify where you would like your donation to go and indicate if you are under 35 years old.
You can also contribute by going to the CFOW Facebook page and clicking "Like." Pique will contribute $1 for each new "Like" up to $1,000 (part of Pique's $10,000 contribution.)
A hint: enter early to be included in more weekly draws. The deadline for the weekly Prior draws is 7 a.m. each Wednesday.
And the winner this week is: Julian Macedo.