Move4Communitas Raises Thousands of Dollars for Mental Health
Over the course of eight weeks, more than 100 athletes on 16 teams completed a virtual walk from Campbell River to Cape Spear and back, tracking more than 14,000kms and raising $14,000 for Communitas’ mental health initiatives. Sarah De Klein, resource development coordinator for Communitas, is grateful to be part of such a generous community.
“Asking for support at such an unprecedented time is something we were very aware of,” she says. “The fact that people came together and supported us is a measure of the goodwill out there. We’re so grateful.”
Athletes tracked their kms using fitness tracking apps that automatically uploaded their efforts to the move4communitas webpage. For every dollar they raised, another km was added to their distance, bringing them closer to the goal. Corporate donations from local businesses and incentive prizes donated by Abbotsford Costco added to the motivation to keep moving.
While athletes enjoyed the friendly competition between teams and team mates, many commented on the way that the event impacted their own physical and mental health.
Athlete Brigitte Gietema says that focusing on the blessings in her life and having support from family and friends helps her maintain her mental health. Being physically active also makes a huge impact, especially when she is active outdoors. She loves hiking and is an avid cyclist – she cycled across Canada in 2017. She really enjoyed being part of the Move4Communitas fundraiser.
“I was glad to be doing this as I myself have dealt with mental health issues for many years,” she says. “I appreciated the camaraderie of our team and the chance to have my activities also raise funds for mental health services.”
Micah Reimer is a mental health worker with Communitas. He participated by walking, hiking, and cycling, often doing the Abby Grind, and completed a whopping 1028.2 kms during the event. He is grateful to work for an organization that prioritizes the mental health of the people it serves as well as its employees. He loved how the event created camaraderie and accountability in his team.
“It has been great to see so many people involved in making mental and physical health a priority,” he says. “The move4communitas fundraiser has been a safe place to build confidence in oneself through the encouragement from co-workers and the feeling of accomplishment.”
Funds raised from this event will support a number of Communitas mental health initiatives including Peer Support, wellness tools, and employment services. Sarah is grateful for all the athletes who participated and to the many donors who supported them.
“Move4Communitas proved to be such a success on so many levels and importantly raised much needed funds for our mental health initiatives which are so critical as we move through this pandemic,” she says. “Staying connected, feeling cherished and supported – these things matter and this is why community support matters. We are blessed to be part of a great community.”