I wanted to share the story of my husband Eren and the hard work he has been putting forward to earn a $50,000 grant from Maple Leaf Sports Teamp Up Foundation to run an outdoor adventure program for his special needs students. Eren has worked for 15 years at the Griffin Centre a wonderful mental health agency in Toronto for dually diagnosed children. These kids come from all walks of life and have endured mental illness, learning disabilities often with parents who struggle financially and emotionally to support them. The one thing that most of them have never experienced is the chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure. My husband is an outdoor enthusiast with a wonderful gift for guiding people through canoeing, hiking and skiing adventures. His love for the earth and nature and great desire to teach that to his students has lead him to propose a “wilderness” group at his agency for 5 years. Unfortunately they are a not for profit centre and they have not been able to raise the funds for a budget to run this program.
When the opportunity came up to apply for a grant from Maple Leaf Sports they worked tirelessly to create a compelling program that would hopefully make the “cut”. After weeks of voting and posting with excitement their team has made it to the Top 10! This Friday the voting closes and the Top 4 teams will receive $50,000!
DETAILS FROM THE GRIFFIN CENTRE
Picture yourself hiking through the trails, snow shoeing in fluffy white snow, paddling across calm blue waters and camping under the stars. Sounds amazing doesn’t it?
We think so too! In this day and age, our young generation of urban dwellers have become disconnected from nature and all it has to offer. Most of the families we serve at Griffin Centre are low income, single parent families with multiple stresses. Many of the youth from these families will not get the opportunity to otherwise learn about and enjoy the great outdoors.
The Wilderness Adventure Program promotes physical activity through sports and recreational activities, all while acquiring knowledge and life skills. The Team Up Foundation grant would allow us to expand and enrich our existing program so that we can provide more youth with this unique opportunity. This grant will allow up to 48 youth to participate in this experience and completely cover the costs of staff support, transportation, equipment, rentals, food and permits. Without this additional funding, the Centre will have no option but to limit the enrollment for this high demand program. The program will provide youth with an opportunity to constructively challenge their energies and a chance to learn new skills which increase their self-esteem, their confidence and better prepare them for the world in which they live.
The overall goal of the Wilderness Adventure Program is to provide an opportunity for youth to:
• constructively challenge their energies through sports and recreational activities;
• increase their self-esteem, confidence, socialization and skills;
• acquire knowledge about ecosystems and the importance of sustaining our environment;
• gain experiences and knowledge outside of their daily experiences and ignite interest and passion for the great outdoors.
It is important for us to help build a strong foundation so that youth become leaders and advocates in their own communities and have the tools and knowledge to make positive change. We want to remove financial barriers to youth and their families who could not otherwise afford an opportunity like this. The empowerment and skills to be gained by the youth we serve with an innovative program like this are remarkable.
Your Help with this, would help his school get the votes they need to make the top 4 and offer these wonderful kids the greatest opportunity to enjoy life, and enjoy the outdoors!
For more information and to see a video that they put together visit MLSE TEam Up Foundation their team is called Griffin Centre.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Voting ends this Friday March 16th at 11am – Just 1 vote can make all the difference! Please VOTE now and share this message on your Social Media pages.
Your vote can make all the difference! VOTE NOW for the Griffin Centre!