Above image: see cutlines below.
Last November, military veterans Glen Coyle and Christian Bagley walked 150 kilometres from Collingwood, ON., to Toronto, to raise money in order to help soldiers in their transition from military to civilian life.
The duo walked to raise funds for Helmets to Hardhats, an organization that offers employment counselling, resume reviewing assistance, and connections/referrals to those exploring new opportunities.
“The organization was important to Christian and I because I personally know how difficult it is transitioning after a lifetime in the military to civilian life. The opportunity inspired me to help other veterans requiring the same resources,” Coyle expressed.
Aim to Raise Fund for Tools & Education
He explained that the fundraiser was to raise money for tools and education to be provided to new soldiers involved in the program. Above and beyond raising funds, their goal was to raise awareness regarding the organization and its services to veterans in need.
Both Coyle and Bagley fought in Afghanistan. Coyle served 10 years with the military, while Bagley served for 20 years.
Coyle says his best friend (more like a brother) agreed to do the march with him before he could even finish his sentence when pitching the idea.
He says they are both just as eager to help out their fellow soldiers now as they were when they enlisted into the Canadian Forces.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Coyle says they weren’t able to have as much presence or support as they wanted. However, that didn’t stop them from raising funds by donation and ending the march at City Hall to greet Helmets to Hardhats at the finish line.
This was their first march, raising over $20,000, and Coyle says it feels like a great accomplishment.
“It all started with two veterans with an idea, with support from H2H and Canada House, we made it a reality. We expect we will be doing more fundraisers in the future, bigger goals next time, said Coyle.”
Canada House Clinics Support Walk
He noted many people participated from Canada House Clinics behind the scenes.
Coyle and Bagley had to do the walk, which seems like the hard part, but it felt like the easy part to them. The entire team at Canada House was very supportive and encouraging when it came to the march.
Coyle mentioned that everybody was pumped up to work throughout their weekend to help them get the live exposure they needed to raise every dollar they did.
The goal of this initiative was to help people that could use help.
“Veterans are very close to our heart. The goal is to encourage more people to do things like this and that we can make a difference,” says Coyle.
He continued, “I would like people to know that if you have an idea or want to help, it’s not as far-fetched as you may think. We simply had an idea of walking to raise money, and three weeks later, we started. It’s very rewarding to get involved in giving back. There’s been a lot of bad in 2020, so let’s give back to our communities and extend our help. From H2H to Canada House, to every social media like and share – we are extremely grateful.”