Henkaa's Giving Back: Remembering Jo

Henkaa donates 1% of our sales to the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation to support girls and women to reach their fullest potentials. Jo's Foundation was established in 2020 by Jo's husband Stan and their children with the support of the Toronto Foundation.

Update: July 22, 2022

 

It's been 3 years. It feels like a lifetime, but it also feels like Jo's only a text away.

Because we know she's still with us, walking beside us as we continue to build upon the vision she created and shared with us. A vision where we...

...love ourselves as we are...
...feel confident and safe to express our true selves...
...make life easier for ourselves while also reducing our fashion footprint...
...celebrate our unique journeys through life

Jo loved celebrations, and would have wanted us to celebrate her life on this day, and her birthday one week from now, on July 29.

The past two years, we worked with local brands to deliver Celebration Boxes with yummy food to foundation supporters and Henkaanistas.

This year, we continue to partner with small women-owned businesses to fundraise for the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation - while building community and spreading their good work to more people. 

We're proud to announce that we're expanding the reach and delivery of our fundraising efforts so that we can reach more people, and so that more Henkaanistas who want to support the foundation, can!

We're working with Shiftly.ca to bring you 2 curated gift bundles for self-care - with items we think Jo would've loved. Throughout the rest of July and the month of August, Shiftly.ca is generously donating 5% of each gift bundle to Jo's Foundation!

PLUS, we have a new collaboration with Cocolily & Co to bring you beautiful greeting cards you can use to celebrate special occasions! Stay tuned for the launch of our first 2 cards for Jo's birthday! We'll be donating 20% of the sales of gift cards to Jo's Foundation on an ongoing basis.

We're so happy to announce these partnerships, and thank you all for your ongoing love and support.

And don't forget, with every sale on our website, we donate 1% to the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation year-round to help girls and women reach their fullest potentials.

With gratitude,

Henkaa Team

Update: March, 2022

With your support, Jo's Foundation was able to create the University of Waterloo Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Award. The process to recognize and honour Jo at her alma mater began in 2020, and we're proud to announce that the first recipient if this award: Angelina!

To learn more about Angelina, head on over to rememberjo.com!

 

Update: November 30, 2021

Dear Henkaanista community,

Today is Giving Tuesday - but here at Henkaa, we give back everyday because or your support.

That's because we donate 1% of your purchase year-round to the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation in memory of our late founder Jo

Thank you for supporting girls and women to reach their fullest potentials!

This year, in addition to our 1% of sales donations and raising $5500 for Jo's Birthday Celebration Box Fundraiser, we're also donating 200 pairs of underwear to the YWCA. The YWCA helps women and girls “flee violence, secure housing, find jobs, establish their voices, enhance skills and develop confidence.” 

In addition, Jo's Foundation made a donation of $1500 to the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society, which will be matched by the Toronto Foundation's Black and Indigenous Futures Fund.

The mandate of the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society: "To establish a Healing Lodge for First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women who are in conflict with the law, and for those who have survived intergenerational trauma. To provide cultural support, traditional knowledge and resources, for the advancement of wholeness and balance. To empower First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ Women to take their honoured place within their community and culture."

 

Update: July 2021

Dear Henkaanista community,

I'm pleased to announce the second annual Jo's Birthday Celebration Box Fundraiser! Last year was an amazing success and we're looking forward to another great campaign where you'll get to enjoy some delicious food and help a great cause at the same time. Proceeds from the box will be donated to the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation.

To date, the the Foundation has raised over $30,000 with support from Henkaa and our community. To learn more about Jo's Foundation or to make a charitable donation, please visit RememberJo.com

 

Update: June 2021

It's official! The Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation, with the leadership of Jo's husband Stan, has established the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Award at the University of Waterloo to support female students in the Faculty of Mathematics, a commitment totalling $10,000 over 5 years. 

Waterloo is Jo's Alma Mater, and to date, she is the only female to win the University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics Young Achievement Award. With women still underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programming, we feel it is important to support the success of young women in this field.

To learn more about Jo's Foundation or to make a charitable donation, please visit RememberJo.com

 

Update: January 2021

Dear Friends,

I wrote the below letter in 2020 in the midst of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. I have kept it as is, but also wanted to update you on our current giving efforts. As of January 1, 2021, we are giving back 1% of our sales to the Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation in honour of our late founder Jo, to help girls and women reach their fullest potentials.

You can read more about our COVID-19 updates and our commitment here. Thank you for your support and your trust in us to be a part of your special moments.

 

---

June 2020

Dear Henkaanistas,

Henkaa was born out of a desire to empower women while creating a more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable fashion space. It began with the idea that women could find freedom, comfort, and joy in the clothing they wore - through Made in Canada convertible, multifunctional clothing that is size-flexible and that be worn for many different events and activities. This is quite opposite of most other pieces of clothing, especially dresses that you'd wear for special occasions, which are often one-time use and very size restrictive. 

The Henkaa team and I are more committed than ever to our values of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability and through our 10-year history, we have not wavered from them; however, the events and circumstances of the past three months - both the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic - have brought into sharp relief the realization that we need to and must do more. We cannot stand idly or silently by.

As a team and as a brand, we will continue to listen, learn, share, and act to amplify important causes.

Today we are announcing the launch of our checkout donations matching program, where you can add a donation of 1% to 5% of the value of your order in support of three organizations we are supporting for 2020. 

Henkaa will match each of your donations and split the donations equally between:

  • Joanna Duong Chang Memorial Foundation - an endowment fund Henkaa helped to establish with Joanna's husband, in memory of our fearless founder who passed away last year. This foundation is Jo's legacy, and aims to create a scholarship at Joanna's alma mater, the University of Waterloo to support women Math majors and seek to donate funds to charities that empower women and girls to reach their fullest potentials
  • YWCA Toronto - while many of us have been doing our part to by staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, home may not be the safest place - especially for women and their children who are experiencing abuse and violence. Donations to YWCA will support their women's shelters and women fleeing abuse.
  • Black Women in Motion - we are committed to supporting Black Lives Matter and we will be donating to this important organization which has a mission to empower, celebrate and support the advancement of Black womxn

We're showing up, and standing up for what we believe in. We're a small but mighty company, and together with you, we can make a big difference! Thank you, our community of Henkaanistas for supporting us and these meaningful causes.

And speaking of our community, and what's important to us, we want to make it known that YOU are important to us. You make all of this possible, and as we approach our 10 Year Anniversary, we will be taking a look back and remembering the celebrations and events in your lives that we've had the honour of being a part of. 

As we work towards making the world a better place, we will also continue to celebrate special days and make every day special too. 

Thank you for coming on this journey with us - we look forward to continuing to be a part of yours as well.

With gratitude,

Sonia

Co-Owner & Managing Director