So, this month, our blog is a bit of a call to action!
We are sponsors of the incredible journey, Zach Makes Tracks. A month long journey where 13 year old Zach is running, walking, scootering and cycling, from Barrie to Ottawa, to fundraise for youth mental health.
At the age of 10, Zach started talking about running across Canada to raise money for kids health. A passionate advocate, Zach believes that children have the right to feel safe. Zach, knows first hand, the impact of mental health, and was shocked by the lack of services in Simcoe Muskoka for children in need.
Mental illness is real. And so, when we heard about Zach’s journey, it was something we wanted to stand behind. This began by becoming a sponsor (our official sponsor day is August 30th), but then we thought, why not throw a fun event at the Retro Planet?
And so, on August 9th, we threw a small fundraising event at Retro Planet to raise some additional money, but also to make sure that Zach and his team had some fun before the long journey ahead. We were thrilled to see these amazing kids and adults, taking the time to relax and have fun!
But, we want to do more, which is why we are reaching out to our Market Buffet customers to go onto Zach’s website, tweet his story, follow his journey and if you are able to make a donation. The mental health services for youth in Simcoe Muskoka, or lack there of, is shocking.
Here are the facts:
- Suicide is the second largest cause of death for youth in Simcoe Muskoka.
- 70 percent of mental health problems begin in childhood.
- One in five young people in our region receives the help that they need.
- Youth are being sent home or admitted, to in patient adult psychiatric units.
- Since 2007, the number of days that area children and youth have spent in the region’s hospitals suffering from mental health issues has tripled.
Recognizing this extreme need, Royal Victoria Hospital is striving to establish their own inpatient unit, with the goal of servicing 290 youth and children a year, and outpatient services.
When Zach, found this out, he didn’t just get upset, he took action, the end result is Zach Makes Tracks, which to date has raised close to 60,000 for the foundation.
We are amazed by Zach’s initiative and perseverance. He is one, incredible kid! And we hope, that you will join us on celebrating Zach’s journey and the incredible fundraising effort he has done all to support our local children and youth.