Since the September Bullying Ends Here presentation in Whistler, BC, where I had the opportunity to personally meet so many of our Dominion Lending Centres family members, a lot has happened.
I am in daily contact with many of the DLC offices throughout the country who are all interested in planning fundraisers, community events and reaching out to their local schools to raise awareness for Bullying Ends Here. Some offices are planning to have the program come to their area to share with their colleagues. It seems that our connection has really spurred a lot of interest in recognizing that we truly can make a difference. We can not only change lives, but SAVE them.
As we all know, one of the biggest difficulties for charities is fundraising. When I started this journey, I committed to doing all that I could to have this presentation ‘free’ for schools. I didn’t want money to stand in the way of the program reaching a youth who might feel alone, who might be struggling in silence, who might be contemplating doing the unthinkable. I wanted to do what I could to be able to help and just hope that, in time, the funding would just happen. When Dominion Lending Centres came along with their National Founding Sponsor support, I had no idea how amazing this new ‘chapter of the book’ would be written. Although we have just begun our journey together, I am confident that we will truly save lives. In fact I know we will.
When I went to Whistler, I knew it would be a fun time. I just had no idea that it would change my life. Even a month later, I still receive emails daily from DLC asking how they can help, their desires to get involved and their own personal stories. I am humbled to say the least.
I want to share with you a quick story of a youth that reached out this week. They wanted to thank me for coming to their school in BC back in 2013 and how they think about the words I said every single day. It took the youth until this week to have the courage to share their own struggles and their courage to overcome them. This person went so far as to say that they have stopped self harming and the thoughts of suicide have subsided because of the presentation. This presentation was over two years ago and yet this individual still remembers the words that were spoken and held them close to their heart, knowing that I (and the program) would be right here for them anytime they wished to reach out.
Of course I have since responded and can proudly say that they are still here with us. That is now 33 young people that I am so very proud to say are still here because of my story.
I am have just left on a 15 day, 15 city tour that will include 4 Provinces and 22 presentations. All in all, I should present to close to 10,000 youth and adults along the way. Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick……here I come. As you can see, the program is stronger than ever!
You know, I have always realized that I would not be able to change the world, but that if I could change just one person’s world then it was all worth it. The truth of the matter is that this program is working. I have never been more inspired as I am currently, and to now realize that I have all of the love and support a person could ever need with a family such as DLC by my side, I am starting to think that we just might be able to change the world!
Courtesy of Tad Milmine, Founder, Bullying Ends Here