Why am I doing this?
While on a road trip this past spring, a question occurred to me. How long is the journey from emotional and physical pain back to well-being? How challenging and arduous is this voyage? Then an idea started to form …
No one escapes pain in their lives. Sometimes it can be physical caused by assault or accident. Or it can be emotional due to verbal abuse, bullying or the devastating loss of a child, parent or loved one. When these victims have nowhere to turn, what can they do?
The answer is simple: Victim Services Toronto, offering free and confidential services and support to victims of crime and sudden tragedy. They have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers committed to helping thousands every year. VST is the only agency in Toronto who provides immediate on-site crisis, trauma, safety and support services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For the past 4 years, it has been my honour to raise much-needed funds for the fine team at Victim Services Toronto. In 2012 and 2013, we launched Making Waves - enduring the laborious outrigger canoe trip with our team across the turbulent waters of Lake Ontario. In 2014, Making Tracks was created - a gruelling and demanding 5-day dog sledding journey through the frozen landscape of Northern Ontario. Last winter the trip was increased to 10 days (in minus 40 degree weather) and we made it all the way north to James Bay.
Of utmost importance to me was to craft a challenging event and to struggle through adversity and difficulty - out of respect for these victims of emotional and physical hardship.
Now back to the idea that began to sprout on my road trip. This September, I begin another arduous journey entitled Making Strides.
I am endeavouring to ride 500 km in 5 days, 5 nights on an ElliptiGo - a speciality bike – all the way from Toronto ending at the Ontario/Quebec Border outside of Coteau-du-Lac. The route (covering about 100 km per day) will follow the Great Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario until I reach my destination.
Making Strides is dedicated to:
• Raising much-needed funds to support Victim Services Toronto and their critical care programs.
• Raising public awareness of VST’s important work, services and programs.
Each evening, I will stop and rest in various communities including; Port Hope, Picton, Kingston, Morrisburg and Montreal. I look forward to keeping all informed of my progress –the trials and tribulations, sights, sounds, weather, people met along the way – using twitter accounts @VSToronto and @TPS11Div.
As I travel, I know I shall stay inspired by the strength and courage of those affected by crime, sudden death and trauma who have endured their own journey. Please support the cause by visiting our donations link and contribute whatever you can so that VST can keep doing what they do best. Every dollar counts.
Wish me well as I take on the challenge to Make Stride!
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to help victims of crime and sudden tragedies restore and enhance their quality of life while working to prevent further victimization in the diverse communities we serve.
Our Mission Statement
Victim Services Toronto provides immediate crisis response, intervention, and prevention services which are responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime and sudden tragedies.
Victim Services Toronto is a community based charity providing free and confidential assistance to victims of crime and sudden tragedy. We are unique in that we are the only agency in Toronto providing immediate on- site crisis, trauma, safety and support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are a non-government agency working in partnership with police, communities, and other organizations. Our partnerships are built around ensuring that victims have access to the most appropriate services.
Together, Victim Services Toronto staff and 140 volunteers make up a dedicated team of people committed to assisting thousands of Toronto residents every year.
We are committed to reflect the communities we serve, and currently represent over 35 languages within the agency.