“There’s little that’s more important than ensuring today’s kids grow up to be tolerant adults. We won’t have much of a society if we can’t get along. To the fine folks at Out On Screen and the tremendous work you do with Out in Schools, Mink Chocolates is honoured to support your endeavours.”

– Marc Lieberman, ‎President and Founder of Mink Chocolates

As the President and Founder of Mink Chocolates, I had personal knowledge of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival from a previous business I had in the late 90’s that supported the organizations fundraising efforts. A decade later, when I changed the focus of the Mink Cares program from employee-driven to corporate, I sought out charities and societies I’d worked with in the past that aligned with my personal values and ideals and asked for ways that our support would be beneficial to the specific cause.

Film festivals are fun and movies are powerful ways to communicate ideas and reflect back to an audience about issues people may not be familiar with. Ultimately though, a narrowly focused festival like the VQFF is preaching to the converted or mostly converted.

Out in Schools takes a bolder approach and speaks to youth when they’re both vulnerable and impressionable, and works hard to teach tolerance. I don’t have much confidence that our educators could have tackled queer topics properly, if at all. And I certainly believe there are parents without the tools, knowledge, empathy or inclination to explore these topics at home with their kids. To have advocacy by individuals who can speak from experience is a powerful learning tool.

Out On Screen provides a more human connection between their events and my company. I get more hard data to understand the challenges they face and the progress they make year to year. I feel more like an active contributing partner than just a cheque writer and form letter receiver.

I haven’t commissioned any studies to drill into the metrics of just how much value this association brings to my brand. But I’m also not naive enough to think that I don’t receive some support back from a demographic that identifies with queer issues and supports those who support the cause. I really do it because I was raised to be socially responsible and community-minded and my wife and I are raising our kids the same way.

I believe any corporation with a charitable mandate would benefit from a balanced approach to a community support program that should include partnering with Out in Schools or the VQFF. We will make greater strides as humans if we’re tolerant and accepting. We have the capacity to make life better for all. It’s incumbent on us to do so.

 

You can find out more information about Mink Chocolates at minkchocolates.com or visit their Downtown Vancouver or South Surrey cafés.

 

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Reach out to Sam Snobelen, Director of Development, to learn more about the range of sponsorship package opportunities.