Raising funding and awareness with all women’s Baffin Island expedition 

Since 2012, the True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) has hosted expeditions to some of the most challenging and gruelling locations around the world, all with the goal of raising both money and awareness to help support serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“True Patriot Love’s global expeditions raise critical funds to support military and Veteran families, while also building awareness of the challenges Veterans face when they transition to civilian life. Previous expeditions have raised $7.5 million collectively to fund critical programs for families in need,” said Ya Shan Waley, director, marketing & communications, True Patriot Love.

Over the years, these expeditions have ventured too far flung corners of the world, like the Himalayas, the North Pole, and Antarctica. While they usually explore areas outside of Canada, in 2017 they decided to explore more of Canada in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial. They visited Newfoundland, British Columbia, and the North West Territories. This year, the expedition ventured to Baffin Island.

“Our goal is to raise $1M for the Baffin Island expedition, and people can donate at,” said Waley.

An important part of the expeditions is mentorship. While part of the expedition is made up of serving and retired military members from a variety of ranks, ages, and backgrounds, and all three areas of service, the rest of the expedition is made up of individuals from the business world. 

“Our expeditions provide a meaningful mentorship opportunity and shed light on the challenges of transition and the stigma of mental illness. Business leaders offer one-on-one support to military participants as they transition to civilian careers. At the same time, civilian business leaders learn from the valuable experiences and skills of our military and Veteran participants. The mentorship is mutually beneficial,” said Waley.

This year, the expedition to Baffin Island focused on a specific segment of the CAF, female serving and retired members. 

“We felt an all-women expedition would be a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the strength and resilience of Canadian women in both the military and corporate workforces,” said Waley.

The expedition team included ten civilians, four military members (three from the Air Force and one from the Navy), a doctor, a TPL staffer, a photographer, as well as four guides. 

“Some of the civilian business leaders include the VP Market Strategy & Innovation at Mackenzie Investments, a Managing Director at Scotiabank, a General Manager at Via Rail, the CEO at Fundserv and a writer and founder of WomanScape, for example,” said Waley.

In 2020, TPL is planning an expedition to Patagonia, Argentina. 

For more information, visit the TPL website.

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Deborah van der Linde

Deborah is a librarian who is passionate about books, storytelling, and writing. Thanks to her husband Adam’s military career, they have had the great fortune of living all across Canada. Deborah and Adam have two delightful children and a dog that thinks he’s one of the kids.

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