CC Walk 2019

Prince Rupert to Kamloops

The walk was a huge success! We walked Into the Storm together and through it we learned a lot from each other on this journey. We met many amazing people from all walks of life, working together to help support their family, friends and community. Many people shared their experiences with trauma that mental health and suicide bring into all our lives. Through this walk, we were showed the next practical steps that we need to take to continue our efforts. 

Community compassion is what Into the Storm is all about. Compassion shows that if we care and reach out or allow others to reach in we can have a lasting impacts on others.   

CC WALK CONTINUES THROUGH

Community Compassion Champion Cards

Compassion Pods

Wellness (Supports & Resources)

Awareness (Start Talking, Keep Talking)

Love (Connection with Others)

Kindness (Share your Compassion)

Along our journey, we were approached by many people who asked for our contact details. Understanding that we do not have the capacity to support everyone we met, we realized we don't want to let anyone down. We want to help identify local supports in their own communities, such as a family member, friend or neighbor who could be that support network. And thus, the Community Compassion Champion Card was born. Champion Cards display the Into the Storm buffalo logo on the front with space on the back to include names and contact information of two Champions who can be reached in a time of need for support. 

We also received feedback about organizations that provided awesome and extremely helpful programs at one time. Unfortunately, these programs cease to exist when government funds become unavailable or run out. We heard about the limited and stressed resources that all first responders are faced with. These individuals have the heart to strive to do more in their community but time and resources are limited, which makes the difference for providing support to someone in need. To help support first responders, the notion of the Compassion Pod was developed. 

Watch the recap from the 2019 CC WALK!

We have reclaimed our spirit and regained the strength to stand up and say; "Okay I'm here and we can do this" I have also learned that if you stand for something that is right, even if you stand alone - it is the right thing to do!

We are so thankful to everyone who supported and participated in CC Walk 2019. Please continue to follow us, raise awareness, share compassion and spread your kindness. Continue reading about our epic walk from Prince Rupert to Kamloops, BC.

The Community Compassion WALK (Wellness Awareness Love Kindness) was born to reignite awareness in the community. The Walk was not just about Suicide Awareness, but also about the experiences with Trauma, Mental Health, Addiction, Loss, Grief, and Missing and Murdered People.

The action of the Walk will ground me like I never realized.

 

The education outcome for this Walk was to empower people to see how it takes one action to cause a reaction. That as a society, we need to take action. The physical Walk was to bring attention that one life lost to an unnatural cause is one life too many.

To honor those who walked the Highway before CC WALK 2019, we want to recognize that no effort has gone unnoticed.

To conquer my emptiness, I first must find my outlet to be compassionate.

 

The initial thoughts about the Walk were to establish what the outcome should be and realizing that this event was more significant than a result. Then, understanding that validifying the message of awareness at all levels will be the outcome. The objectives were community awareness, public education, and participation. When, in reality, the primary goals were self-awareness, respect, and compassion for oneself.

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The Journey Begins | May 12 - 18, 2019 | Week One

Cultivating Hope: The Journey begins.

Filled with emotions and an awareness that I never realized, I knew that the person that took the first step, will not be the same person who made the last step. Knowing that the months of physical preparation would not compare to the emotional "training" that would happen.

My goal was to "Cultivate Hope," I didn't realize that it would be the participants on day one that would set the tone for what I would understand what "cultivating hope" would be. I knew it would be my support driver Clara and I on the start line, and I didn't realize I would have the physical support of my maternal Uncle and his two sons with their wives and children. What a great start, this sets the tone, and I knew at that moment #StartTalking, #KeepTalking #StartWalking, #Keepwalking would be at the forefront of my mind every day afterward.  

As we completed the first week, the emotions were high, and I knew I was going to make it. The support was made clear. The greatest lesson that I learned this week was, "When you think you can – you will!"

Each day, I found or received a gift on the highway, these gifts are highlighted under each day here. Continue reading to see more. This weeks gift was a child's smile: That no matter what the challenges are, if we look through life through a child's eyes, we will always have the answers we seek.

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Looking back at the experiences that brought the need for change goes back to the fundamentals of basic brainstorming and asking these questions;

Where are we now?

In answering that question – we are dealing with the unnatural deaths in our communities, not just Aboriginal communities but all communities. The thought posed, “how did we get here, and what can we do as grassroots people about it?

Where are we now?

We are at the cusp of change and how we can work together as a society to bring about the change we would like to see.

 

Where do we want to be?

As big as the sky is blue, how can we bring together those who are Community Champions to help those in a challenging state. How do we assist those who have experienced trauma? How do we support them, first and foremost, in identifying the trauma and then to assist them in building them to engage in supportive healing?

 

What do we have to work with?

We have the footprints of our ancestors to guide us. The resiliency they empowered us can light the path in front of us, which leaves the legacy of healing—drawing upon the experiences that brought me to this place. There is hope in the darkness.

 

What do we have to do?

We have to incite compassion. We have it! With the events surrounding each person, compassion can bring about the change we desire. No matter the journey, we have people who care for us in an absolute manner. We have to accept that the journey is ours, and when we reach out or allow others to reach in, there is camaraderie in healing.

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On May 12, 2019, The Community Compassion Walk began; we did not know what lay before us. We knew to start this journey was literally by the first step. There are many stories to reflect on, and as we know all too well, we will never eradicate unnatural deaths as it knows no boundaries.

We will, however, continue to talk and listen with compassion. We can make a difference, even if it is one person, because that one person, no matter their age, is someone's child.

As I look at the world differently now, everything and anything is accomplishable in steps, small, baby, or significant steps; it can be done! This realization is powerful in knowing that we can make a difference in one person's life.

As we journey along the highway, appreciating that we are setting an example for a grieving child, a family, or a community. We can teach a child that they have the power to make a difference with guidance and support. The children are hidden leaders in our communities, and when they have the opportunity to shine, they will shine bright. In a community, we have the leaders, we have the champions, and as we nurture them, they will grow, and they will be the stepping stones into a healthier tomorrow.

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As society tends to get caught up in the fast pace of life, we have forgotten how to live.


As merely existing humans trying to navigate a course that is lined, riddled, denouncing behavior, it is by such a miracle; we are still able to breathe.


By sheer determination and tenacity, this journey will have a finish line, and once that threshold is crossed, then the work will truly begin.

We know that as people, we have so much to offer one another. 


Offer a helping hand, not an assaulting one.


Offer a kind word, not a rough tongue.


Offer a gentle action, not an ignoring one.

We have lost so many loved ones to unnatural deaths; this causeway of no return has left many stranded with grief that is beyond despair. 


When we show compassion, genuine compassion, we can start to heal together. Offer a cup of tea or coffee to someone; it will go a long way. Kindness, the way our ancestors and our grandparents showed us by what they held in their hands and their hearts. As difficult as their road in life was, they never made an excuse not to help, they just did. 

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When someone was ailing, our ancestors held them while not turning their back; they left a legacy of hope and understanding.

A legacy holds teaching moments; we will never live in the same manner as our grandparents; we can mimic their actions of authentic community living and care for each other. We may not have the resources to build significant buildings or to host extravagant parties, but we all have something priceless, everyone has it, and that is family.

The most excellent resource we have that we don’t have to go and search for, is the circle of family, by whatever definition, and whomever you choose to be family - the significant resource is there. We are all a part of something greater!

 

We are compassionate, and we are family.

Given the opportunity to find beauty from the smallest of items, like a pine needle, and craft it to create a basket, it shows the legacy of teaching. While we teach the next generation how to utilize their hands to make physical gifts, we teach them that compassion can not be bought or sold but shown to one another. Showing genuine care for another is not to be boasted about, but held humbly close to the heart.

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With family, comes compassion, with compassion comes learning, with learning comes living, and with life comes living.

 

The legacy, what you do every day, what you teach, and pass on to children, knowing they are watching and learning, as your actions are now determining a future reaction. Is this the legacy you want to leave behind?

 

As day 29 of walking comes to life, being enticed by the beauty of Mother Nature.The generosity of those who surrounded us, the greatest gift we can give another person is the gift of time.

When we began planning this walk, we were unsure as to how it would start and transpire. As the days began, then rolling into nights and life events and challenges emerged, we knew we would have to make some significant sacrifices. The sacrifices are minuscule in comparison to the message that needs to be shared.

The journey of the "Community Compassion Walk" began as a grassroots effort to bring additional awareness about community compassion, practices, processes, and ideas to explore what currently exists. To share thoughts, to enhance approaches from Trauma-informed approaches, Suicide Awareness /Prevention, Violence against People and Mental Health/Wellness, Homelessness, Grief/ Mourning, and to Addiction in our communities.

 

To read words, to reflect where we started from, the experiences along the way, the people we met and those we have become reacquainted with.  As every step is taken, it is with purpose. Not just to reach the destination, as we know, the hardest journey taken begins with the first step. This has been a communal effort, for each step taken was with determination. "Halting the nay and proving the yay!"

© Into the Storm | 2020