As we like to do each year, our Communicators Director interviewed CameronHelps CEO David Harris to get his perspectives on 2014 and the year ahead.
David, how would you describe 2014 in terms of what CameronHelps was able to accomplish?
We are now into our third year of our High School Team Unbreakable Running Programs and we have learned and accomplished so much. This year we created an awesome curriculum component to the program. This is so exciting! It’s moving in the direction that all of us on the board envisioned. John Knox, our program manager, our writers and consultants and board members all helped make this become a truly unique and exciting part of the program.
Where do you see the organization going in 2015?
The momentum I am seeing will depend on our funding. There is a lot of interest in what we are doing from other school boards and organizations. More programs requires more money and more “Johns” (Program Managers) need to be hired. We will also need many more committed volunteers.
Can you provide some highlights from your perspective on last year?
There were many, but one big one was at our Bold and Cold Event in Oakville. A young person crossed the finish line so proud of the accomplishment of completing the run. I could sense there was far more to it. It looked like his Grandmother came over in tears and gave him such a hug. I thought she was going to squeeze the life right out of him. His reaction was one that I knew changed his life.
It’s the support of the people that makes it special, I suppose?
Absolutely. For me every year we have many volunteers who work with us on these events and programs. They believe in what we are trying to do. Making a difference in mental health is not easy but it can be done and the more people get involved in our cause, or in other mental health initiatives out there, things will change.
What do you need most to keep things on track?
With our first round of Trillium funding coming to an end, it means we need to find individuals and businesses who believe in our vision, which is to have our running program and CameronHelps chapters across the country in the next 10 years. This year if we have the funding, the Team Unbreakable running program will continue to grow. If all goes well, I can see us being in 100 schools by 2016. What an amazing accomplishment that would be!
Any final comments or anything you would like to add?
With respect to our followers and supporters all I can say is thank you. Nothing happens without you–nothing. I think 2015 will be one of our most critical years, but with your continued support we will make a difference and we will save and change lives for the better.