True Patriot Love's Virtual Winter Expedition 2021
True Patriot Love’s Virtual Winter Expedition
March 1st – 31st 2021
Since 2012, True Patriot Love Foundation has produced eight expeditions around the world, pairing business leaders with members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans. These expeditions highlight the perseverance and strength of spirit of our military members and Veterans in the face of adversity.
Building on this experience and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenging realities associated with it, True Patriot Love launched our first ever Virtual Winter Expedition, a new program that brought together military servicemembers, Veterans and Canadians across the country.
Through the True Patriot Love Virtual Winter Expedition, participants traveled from coast to coast across Canada, approximately 8,500KM together as a team from the comfort of their home or community. Ski, snowshoe, run, cycle; whatever activity members chose contributed towards the teams total kilometre goal.
Each stop along the journey across Canada spotlighted an organization that has received important funding from True Patriot Love. Read about each stop below.
With over 200 participants, our combined efforts travelled over 45,000km in the month of March. Team Air Force was the first to complete the challenge, but it was a member of Team Army that travelled the greatest distance, with Nick Kerr travelling an astonishing 6,329km.
Together we raised over $56,000 to go towards supporting military members, Veterans and their families.
Thank you to Lebert Fitness for generously donating three phenomenal prize packs worth over $350! The prize went to the Top 2 Military (active service or Veteran) participants and Top Civilian participant who have accumulated the most kilometers. Congratulations to our prize winners: Nick Kerr (CAF), Evan Acosta (CAF) and Trina Samson (civilian)!
Milestone 1: Gander MFRC
Our first milestone is Gander MFRC. We are honoured to highlight Gander MFRC during this, the 20th anniversary year of 9/11. True Patriot Love has proudly supported the Gander MFRC and their support of local military families and posting packages.
Milestone 2: Halifax MFRC
Our second milestone is Halifax & Region MFRC. Halifax & Region is home to approximately 10,000 CAF members (Regular force and Reservists) in the Army, Navy and Air Force. In 2017, True Patriot Love Funded the Virtual Outreach Mental Health Workshops and Training program to instruct MRFC staff how to reach out virtually to the CAF and Veteran community that they serve.
Milestone 3: Strongest Families Institute
Lower Sackville, NS
Strongest Families Institute (SFI) is an award-winning charitable organization, that has a mission to leverage technology, best science and proficient staff to deliver evidence-based, psychologically informed skill-based educational programs to children, youth and families, to help overcome mild to moderate mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. Timely access to evidence-based mental health for Canadian children and at-risk youth is a concern and waitlists can be long. SFI’s unique innovative distance delivery system is designed to remove barriers to care, the evidence-based e-system of care responds quickly to address waitlists and wait times. Partnered with True Patriot Love, the SFI program will continue it’s expansion to reach all military families served by all 32 Military Family Resource Centers across Canada.
Milestone 4: Gagetown MFRC
In 2018, True Patriot Love was proud to support Gagetown MFRC’s program Parenting the Child with oppositional Defiant Disorder. The goal of the Parenting the Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder program was to offer a 13-week program focused on the internal issues and influences of parenting behaviours and external parental interactions with other children. This mental health educational program was geared for 10 couples, 10+ children and extended family members, with the aim of improving parent knowledge, resourcefulness and reducing mental stress for improved family relationships.
Milestone 5: Valcartier MFRC
This brings our journey to Valcartier MFRC. In 2020, True Patriot Love expedited the selection of the Bell TPL Fund grant recipients to support five organizations that are equipped and able to provide timely mental health support to serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families during the COVID-19 crisis. One of these organizations was Valcartier MFRC and with funding from True Patriot Love, Valcartier MFRC was able to provide in-person with social distancing and virtual mental health supports through Beacon telemedicine for military families in rural Eastern Québec.
Milestone 6: Theatre des Petites Lanternes
Here we visit the Theatre des Petites Lanternes in Sherbrooke, QC. In 2020, True Patriot Love provided funding to the Theatre des Petites Lanternes to support military Veterans participating in the Monarques Project, an art based writing and theatre production.
Milestone 7: Quebec Veterans Foundation
The 7th milestone on our journey brings us to the Quebec Veterans Foundation. In 2020, True Patriot Love provided funding for their Therapeutic Programming. The goal of the Therapeutic Programming at the Quebec Veterans Foundation is to provide 6 months of therapeutic activities for Veterans, which include 24 music therapy sessions, 36 pet therapy sessions and 40 classes of mindfulness and yoga. These 3 therapeutic interventions have been proven to have many benefits including stress relief, lower depression, increased self-awareness and increased communication with loved ones.
Milestone 8: National Defence Headquarters
This stop brings us to The Department of National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, ON. The Department of National Defence supports the Canadian Armed Forces who serve on the sea, on land, and in the air with the Navy, Army, Air Force and Special Forces to defend Canadians’ interests at home and abroad.
Milestone 9: Project Trauma Support
True Patriot Love is a proud supporter of Project Trauma Support. Project Trauma Support is a Canadian program that addresses Post Traumatic Stress and Operational Stress Injury in military personnel, Veterans and first responders. In 2020, True Patriot Love supported Project Trauma Support through the Bell TPL Fund, which has allowed the program to institue health and safety measures during the pandemic to ensure Veterans could continue with mental health programming that addresses moral injury and post-traumatic stress in a safe environment.
Milestone 10: Trenton MFRC
In 2020, True Patriot Love was proud to provide funding to the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre to support their programs to assist military families during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding provided support for qualified tutors to provide 1:1 support to students in subjects they are struggling in, a combination of webinars and a four-week psychoeducational group targeting building skills to cope with life stressors and managing stress, and support of a program called Controlling the Bounce, a resilience program that will help highlight areas of need in adult resiliency.
Milestone 11: Camp Maple Leaf
The halfway point! This milestone brings us to Camp Maple Leaf. In 2017, True Patriot Love was proud to be recognized as a founding partner of Camp Maple Leaf, an organization that offers children of military families a summer camp experience that promotes self-discovery, connection and fun. 2,177 children of military families have participated in summer camp activities with other children of military families through True Patriot Love’s funding and in 2020, True Patriot Love was happy to provide funding to Camp Maple Leaf to support children from military and Veteran families attend Camp Maple Leaf during the 2021 summer camp season.
Milestone 12: Borden MFRC
The Borden Family Resource Centre provides community based family services which support and enhance the quality of life of the CFB Borden community. The Borden Family Resource Centre strives to be a vibrant community centre which promotes confident, capable and resilient families.
Milestone 13: Thunder Bay MFRC
Thunder Bay, ON
The Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre was established in 1999 and their mission is to enhance the quality of life and to enrich the military experience for Canadian Forces families in Thunder Bay, by providing specialized programs and services to promote health, education and social well being. The Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre is one of 43 Military Family Resource Centres located in Canada and across Europe. The Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre is a community based, not-for-profit organization that provides Canadian Forces families with coordinated, consistent and effective services. These services are primarily preventative in nature and take into account the unique challenges facing Canadian Forces families.
Milestone 14: Winnipeg MFRC
The Winnipeg MFRC supports nearly 4000 families in Winnipeg, Southport and Thunder Bay. The unique challenges faced by military families are well met through programming and counselling geared towards the family and the individual including couples, women, children and youth. With Francophone families representing 30% of the military community at 17 Wing, the Winnipeg MFRC also plays a pivotal role in assisting with integration into the local community and support services in both official languages. Since 2013, True Patriot Love has provided a total of $52,200 in funding for a variety of programs at the Winnipeg MFRC
Milestone 15: Moose Jaw MFRC
Moose Jaw, SK
The Moose Jaw Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) strives to builds strong, capable and resilient families in a supportive Canadian Armed Forces community. Since 2011, True Patriot Love has provided support for the Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) program. FOCUS is resilience training for military families, designed to help families develop skills to manage the challenges that arise from a military lifestyle, transitions and operational stress injuries. Developed by a team of experts and military service providers, FOCUS emphasizes emotional regulation, communication, problem solving, goal setting, and recognizing and understanding triggers and reminders. Funding from True Patriot Love has supported 34 direct beneficiaries and 150 indirect beneficiaries of the program.
Milestone 16: Central Saskatchewan MFRC
This milestone brings to the Central Saskatchewan MFRC. True Patriot Love provided funding to the Central Saskatchewan MFRC to support the the delivery of the ASIST Program for military and Veteran families. The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program is designed to help individuals recognize the risk of suicide, and learn how to intervene to prevent the risk of suicidal thoughts from becoming suicidal behaviours.
Milestone 17: Cold Lake MFRC
Cold Lake, AB
Next stop is the Cold Lake MFRC in Cold Lake, AB. True Patriot Love provided funding to the Cold Lake MFRC to support the the delivery of the ASIST Program for military and Veteran families. The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program is designed to help individuals recognize the risk of suicide, and learn how to intervene to prevent the risk of suicidal thoughts from becoming suicidal behaviours.
Milestone 18: Legacy Place Society
In 2020, True Patriot Love provided funding to Legacy Place Society to support in crisis Veterans through Legacy Place Houses in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. Legacy Place Society’s mission is to provide empathetic support that builds resiliency individually and within First Responder and Military Families and True Patriot Love is a proud supporter.
Milestone 19: Team Rubicon Canada
In 2017, True Patriot Love provided the seed funding for the launch of Team Rubicon Canada, an organization that serves communities by mobilizing Veterans to help prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. In response to COVID-19, True Patriot Love was proud to have supported Team Rubicon Canada as they adapted programming to meet evolving community needs and public health guidelines. Through the #NeighboursHelpingNeighbours initiative, Team Rubicon volunteers provided a variety of support including helping pack and deliver 17,600 hampers and 88,000 meals at 6 food banks, providing 314 hours of support to Alberta Emergency Services, packing over 100,000 masks for the City of Calgary, and supporting the set up and operation of 6 mobile COVID-19 testing sites.
Milestone 20: Veterans Transition Network
This second last milestone brings us to the Veterans Transition Network headquarters. Supported by 20 years of research at the University of British Columbia, Veterans Transition Network (VTN) has evolved into a national, bilingual program offering significant support and thought leadership on the military civilian transition. Aligned with True Patriot Love’s objective to provide support and resources to those facing challenges during transition to civilian life, the Veterans Transition Program offers unique group programs for Veterans across Canada by developing an evidence and peer support-based approach to transition. True Patriot Love has disbursed over $1M to VTN since 2013 and remain committed to their program through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milestone 21: Comox MFRC
This final milestone brings you to Comox MFRC. In 2020, True Patriot Love provided funding to the Comox MFRC to assist in their increased demand for youth programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.