Walk for Kids Help Phone
On May 7, Local 304 members from Mississauga, Owen Sound, and Barrie all joined with hundreds of other participants across the province to participate in a five-kilometre walk in support of Kids Help Phone.
Early this year, the Local 304 Board approved a motion to make this walk a yearly event. Through a combined effort on the part of many members and employers, the various workplaces raised $4,500—surpassing the goal set for the first year of $1,000!
The board recognized that kids often face the same challenges members face in the workplace—bullying, segregation, verbal abuse, and mental health struggles. The members felt compelled to start supporting kids who don’t have access to the social support needed when faced with these challenges.
James Horner, Local 304 president, recognized this in his own daughter’s life.
“After speaking with my representative, we realized that our kids face these struggles in school and after school,” he says. “We wanted to be part of a solution to help those kids who don’t have the opportunity to reach out and speak to someone.”
“Children need to have access to an outlet in times of distress or need,” says Laurissa Serre from IOOF Seniors Home in Barrie. “Family members or guardians are not always an option for some children, so the help line is a great option for them to reach out for help, just a phone call away.”
Members at Cedarvale Lodge in Keswick organized a full day of events for kids and their families to enjoy. They also received donations of bouncy castles, Disney characters, prizes from local community businesses, and financial donations for the walk.
Rhonda Gow, steward and local board treasurer, was instrumental in getting her co-workers and managers out in support of the walk.
“Teamwork divided the tasks and multiplied our success,” she says. “This made our event great—members, staff, and management coming together for a great cause.”
Roberta Place members in Barrie held raffles, numerous bake sales, barbecues, and a garage sale as a way to raise funds from their community.
“Our garage sale was a huge success,” says Andrea Damas, member and steward. “Our members all came together to donate items to sell at our garage sale, and we raised $857 at our event! It truly is a great feeling to see everyone come together.”
Local 304 members have much to celebrate in making this first Walk for Kids Help Phone such a great success.