What if for every service member there was a Canadian citizen sporting a pair of Boots in their honour? That is the original idea behind Boot Campaign Canada who believes that action alone sends an important message of support to our heroes. It says “thank you” for their efforts to protect and maintain our freedoms, often doing so in dangerous and life-threatening situations. It provides the opportunity for a public display of gratitude. One way that the campaign raises awareness is through its signature “Boot Shoots” where Canadian celebrities such as former NHL player Adam Bennett, country star Julian Austin, rock legends The Guess Who and Kim Mitchell, design guru Tommy Smythe, Ret. Maj-General Lewis MacKenzie and newscaster Kevin Newman have all put their boots on to help bring awareness to the needs of members of our Armed Forces and First Responders and their families.
Boot Campaign Canada is an extension of the highly successful USA Boot Campaign and is a fundraising initiative whose programs aim to support our Canadian Armed Forces and First Responders. The original Boot Campaign was launched by five Texas women in 2009 and was designed to support military troops returning home from combat operations around the world. They were humbled by the book ‘Lone Survivor’ by Marcus Luttrell, a retired US Navy SEAL with numerous combat operations. Marcus was in turn inspired by the founders of Boot Campaign and has generously supported the project. The exciting twist on the Canadian campaign is that its dedicated mission is to provide support and assistance to Police, Fire and EMS personnel as well as the military.
Awareness of the needs our military and first responders face due to their service drives the campaign’s ability to raise funds for their programs. Funds raised through the sales of boots, events and donations are used to support the following programs:
Scholarships: Boot Campaign Canada’s scholarship program provides post-secondary scholarships to qualifying spouses and children who have lost a spouse or parent in the line of duty.
Home Renovations: Boot Campaign Canada’s Home Renovation Program enables qualifying injured, wounded or disabled Canadian Soldiers and First Responders assistance for home renovations needed to improve quality of life customized to various degrees of injury.
Wellness Initiatives: Boot Campaign Canada is committed to providing Wellness Retreats for injured service members and their families learning to cope with their new realities.
Honouring Our Fallen: Immediate family members of deceased Canadian Soldiers or First Responders, can apply for financial assistance to attend memorial events dedicated to honouring our fallen.
To date, Boot Campaign Canada has supported The Canadian Hero Fund, Wounded Warriors Canada, Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Canadian Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial. In the near future and with the support of Wounded Warriors Canada, the campaign will be funding a program to send six RCMP officers with PTSD and their spouses to Can Praxis, an equine therapy program in Rocky Mountain House Alberta.
To learn more about Boot Campaign Canada or to show your support by ordering a pair of boots, visit their website http://www.bootcampaign.ca/