True Patriot Love Foundation was launched in 2009 to support members of he Canadian Armed Forces, its veterans and their families in times of both peace and conflict.
As Canadians pay their respects to those who’ve made sacrifices for their country on Remembrance Day, True Patriot Love Foundation is active throughout the year activating resources to positively impact military families.
Many soldiers return from their tours of duty to a society that’s ill-equipped to support them, as many people don’t understand the stress of service, the atrocities experienced in a war zone and the long-lasting effects they can have.
There are more than 639,000 veterans and families in Canada, and about 5,000 military personnel leave the service and join them each year. About 2,500 are medically released each year and 60 per cent of them have permanent physical limitations.
Thirteen per cent of Canadian Armed Forces personnel were diagnosed with a mental disorder attributable to Afghanistan deployment four years after the fact. Children from military families experience double the rate of mental health issues as those from civilian families.
True Patriot Love Foundation works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, Department of Veteran Affairs and local grassroots organizations to identify the most urgent needs of military families on a national scale, while avoiding duplication of efforts between organizations.
The Toronto-based foundation provides the opportunity for Canadian registered charities to apply for funding of programs that are aligned with its mandate.
True Patriot Love Foundation’s disbursement advisory committee — consisting of experts in the areas of business, research, government and military sectors — reviews and evaluates all applications to help ensure that funding goes toward programs and services that will have the most immediate and significant impact on the lives of military families.
The foundation raises awareness around the challenges related to military service and funds programs for serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families that: support their wellbeing; enable rehabilitation and recovery from injury through the creative arts and sports; assist the children and spouses of those who serve; and promote re-integration into communities following service.
True Patriot Love Foundation has raised $35 million in donated funds that have supported 945 community-based programs and benefitted almost 38,000 people.
True Patriot Love Local Community Fund provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for programs and services that support military families, children and youth across Canada.
The Captain Nichola Goddard Fund provides funding for programs and services that support servicewomen, female veterans and their families across Canada. When Goddard was killed at age 26 during an ambush in Afghanistan on May 17, 2006, she became the first female Canadian soldier to die in a combat role. The fund was created in her honour.
Bell True Patriot Love Fund is a $1-million, multi-year initiative that provides grants of from $5,000 to $75,000 to community mental health programs and services that serve military families, veterans and serving members.
Afghan Resettlement Fund was recently created to help support Afghan interpreters, cultural advisors and locally employed people who were essential to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban is regaining control of the region, the lives of those who offered assistance, as well as their families, are in immediate danger. The Canadian government has announced special measures to bring them to Canada safely and help them resettle, but much additional support will be needed.
True Patriot Love Foundation, in partnership with organizations across the country, has launched a fund to be used to assist in their resettlement once they arrive in Canada. It will also be used to provide support for the many Canadian veterans who served alongside these people and are struggling with the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan.
Funds will be distributed across Canada to local organizations working directly with Afghan refugees and their families as they adapt to life in Canada. The money will provide support for legal costs, housing, language training, mental health supports, employment and education training, and more.
True Patriot Love Foundation is working on creating a national virtual veteran network that will provide a connection for the military community as well as online resources and tools to support wellbeing, resiliency, peer support, training, employment, and information on local and virtual events and volunteer opportunities.
The foundation offers several ways for people to donate to support its mission.
It also creates fundraising expeditions around the world that engage Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and civilians.
Civilian participants raise funds to help True Patriot Love Foundation fulfil its mission. Military expeditioners are currently serving Canadian Armed Forces members or veterans who’ve sustained a service-related illness or injury.
The expeditions provide mentorship opportunities 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, and they learn from the experiences and skills of the military and veteran participants.
Past expeditions have collectively raised more than $9 million for the military community and have directly impacted 66 ill and injured military personnel and veterans. Funds raised have allowed for enhanced job training and recruitment, provided 144 veterans with rapid job placement, helped to fund more than 9,800 hours of peer-to-peer mental health counselling, and allowed for a $500,000 investment to create a virtual reality therapy program for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder.