Zero Ceiling would not be where it is today without the help of our incredible donors. Whether you give something small or something big, it is invaluable to our success. Andy Szocs is a retired businessman who now dedicates his life to giving. He prioritizes mental health and aims to promote the organizations who are doing their best to advocate for it. He sees our commitment to ending youth homelessness and the importance of mental health among these young people and has supported our organization and this mission for years.

As we begin to count down the final days of 2022, we spoke to Andy about our fundraising target of $250,000. The Szocs Foundation has donated to this campaign and has supported Zero Ceiling almost since inception, and we asked Andy to tell us why he gives, and maybe it’ll inspire you to give too.

“During my career, I channeled my passion into building the best company I could, and I loved my work. When I retired more than twenty years ago, I knew I was never going to just stop. I’ve always believed it’s vital to support and empower people. That started with my employees, but my dreams got bigger as I realized the scope of what I could achieve by giving back.

When I moved to Whistler full-time from North Vancouver, I found how I would channel my energy for the next two decades. I joined the founding Board of the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, and learned so much about the need for better mental health care from that experience. Ever since, I’ve focused on giving to organizations providing vital mental health services, and have supported dozens of charities and non-profits.

Andy Szocs and His Focus on Mental Health

Andy has been supporting us at Zero Ceiling since almost the very beginning, and he was able to join us at our 25th Birthday Party, speaking to the audience about his belief in mental health and his belief in our organization:

“While mental health is discussed far more openly now than it used to be, there is still a long way to go. In the Sea to Sky Corridor there is a desperate need for more services that really meet the needs of people facing mental health challenges. The pandemic has only made things more difficult, and we’re still seeing the effects almost three years later.

I first connected with Chris Winter in the early days of Zero Ceiling, and saw how innovative and important their programs are for vulnerable young adults. I’m proud to have seen Zero Ceiling grow and evolve over so many years, and to have helped them reach their 25th birthday providing better support and mental health care than ever before.

Chris Winter and Andy Szocs and his wife smiling at the camera

Zero Ceiling 25th Birthday
Photo: Oisin McHugh

The Szocs Foundation’s Impact on Zero Ceiling

Andy matched a large portion of the donations we received on the night of our 25th Birthday Party, and helped us to finish with a total of $110,000 on the night. Since then, we have raised another $70,000 which brings us even closer to our goal of raising $250,000 by the end of the year. But there’s still a little ways to go, and only a few weeks left for us to get there.

We’ll let Andy finish us off:

I can’t tell you how good it feels to give: to know that you are making a real difference in your community. But giving is also a responsibility. I really believe that those of us who can must share our wealth to lift up our communities. And we’ll be privileged to see the impact our gifts make. That’s why I choose to give now, while I’m still here to witness change happening. While lots of people plan gifts in their will, I think more people should consider “giving while living”. It’s brought so much joy to my life, and I truly believe it can for so many others too.

If you can afford to give this holiday season by donating to our end of year fundraising campaign, you would be helping us in our mission to ending youth homelessness and we would be so grateful.