Meghan Markle surprised a Vancouver charity when she popped in for a visit on Jan. 14! We got the EXCLUSIVE details in a new interview.
Meghan Markle, 38, delighted staff at Vancouver’s Justice for Girls when she dropped by for a visit on Tuesday, Jan. 14! “She was really informal, and she shook everyone’s hand and was really gracious and happy to take a photo with us,” executive director Zoe Craig-Sparrow told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “And we were left with a really positive impression of the Duchess.” While Meghan has been staying in Victoria, Canada which is a two-hour ferry ride or short flight away, she made headlines when she popped up in gorgeous Vancouver earlier this week.
“The Duchess met with our Co-Directors as well as representatives from our Board of Directors and staff,” Zoe continued. “She put everyone at ease and had a very engaged discussion with us for 90 minutes about our work and the rights of teenage girls who live in poverty. We discussed Justice for Girls’ main areas of work and our plans to develop a Justice for Girls Centre.” The excited charity made sure they had plenty of mint tea on hand — reportedly Meghan’s favorite — ahead of her visit. The Duchess also snapped photos with the girls that she met, which you can see here.
The charity, which was formed in 1999, offers services and programs that address the needs of girls in need particularly around issues of violence, poverty and homelessness. With an emphasis on equality for women in all aspects of life, the group encourages girls to be leaders in their communities — which has been a passion for Meghan through her various charitable endeavors. “The Duchess mentioned that it was really important to her to look into various local organizations in the area,” Zoe shared. “And I assume that she was looking into them and was interested in organizations that align with her interests.” Justice For Girls also offers an internship program for young women to learn more about social policy, criminal justice monitoring and more.
While Justice For Girls was thrilled to host Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex didn’t exactly walk in unannounced. “We were contacted by a representative of the Duchess ahead of the visit, and we were all so excited and definitely crazy to hear that she was interested in visiting,” Zoe excitedly shared. While Meghan didn’t indicate any future plans to remain involved, the group are hopeful about any future opportunities that may arise! In the meantime, she left a lasting impression on the girls she met. “She was extremely well-spoken and knowledgeable on the issues that we discussed,” Zoe revealed. “She’s passionate and committed to women’s rights, and she was relaxed…she made us all feel very comfortable.”