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Woodstock's first Walk So Kids Can Talk raises more than $6,500 for Kids Help Phone

By Chris Abbott, Postmedia Network

Woodstock hosted its first Walk So Kids Can Talk fundraiser Saturday at College Avenue Secondary School, in support of Kids Help Phone. About 100 people participated, raising an estimated $7,500. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News/Postmedia Network)

Woodstock hosted its first Walk So Kids Can Talk fundraiser Saturday at College Avenue Secondary School, in support of Kids Help Phone. About 100 people participated, raising an estimated $7,500. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News/Postmedia Network)

Thousands of kids, adults, families, community organizations and corporations across Canada join together each year to support young people's emotional well-being by raising funds for Kids Help Phone.

The single largest fundraiser is a fun and inspirational Walk So Kids Can Talk.

"The walk has been taking place for 16 years, and we have 40 communities across the country, but this is the first time we've done it in Woodstock," said London's Sarah Lagrove, manager of community fundraising and corporate development.

About 100 people gathered Sunday morning to walk 5 kilometres at College Avenue Secondary School.

"I think it's a pretty good turnout for our first year," said Lagrove, impressed by the number of youth wearing T-shirts in memory of their friends.

"It's pretty powerful."

Across the country, about $3.7 million is expected to be raised through the Walk So Kids Can Talk. In Woodstock, more than $6,500 was raised.

"It's hard to say until we get the final numbers, but it's pretty good for our first time here. You could say Woodstock's estimated target is about $7,500."

"We're walking for my granddaughter, Alexandria," said Darcy Ralph, walking with her large extended family, all wearing blue T-shirts with Alexandria's picture.

"I consider them all family, even my grandchildren's friends. Alex's mom and dad and three sisters are all walking today. I think there's 17 or 18 of us."

As a family, they set a team goal of $500, but they were able to raise $863. They planned to release special balloons at the end of the event.

"Later today, this young lady, Alyssa, will be singing," said Ralph. "All of the songs are written by herself, and all of her songs are dedicated to her sister."

 

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) is a charity that provides counselling and referrals in both official languages as the only national helpline for young people. Since 1989, Kids Help Phone (kidshelpphone.ca) has offered young people in Canada hope and support through its confidential and anonymous service. As an organization that speaks with young people every day, Kids Help Phone works to share their perspectives and improve their emotional health and well-being. Kids Help Phone raises the majority of its revenue from individuals, foundations, corporations, and community fundraising.

 

By the numbers

  • In 2016, Kids Help Phone provided 145 counselling sessions per day, and 52,749 sessions in total.
  • Kids reached out to Kids Help Phone an average of 360 times per day for counselling, information or referrals in 2016.
  • More than one-third of Kids Help Phone's counselling sessions are conducted online using their Live Chat service.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to reach out, accounting for 75 per cent of service contacts.
  • Kids Help Phone received 1,083,840 website sessions in 2016, 47 per cent from visitors on mobile devices.
  • The most frequently discussed issue in counselling is mental/emotional health at 31 per cent.
  • In 2016, Kids Help Phone received 16 per cent more contacts about suicide and suicide related issues than in 2015.