The people behind Kids Help Phone believe no youth should go without someone to talk to and, to help fund the free service, the seventh annual Bell Walk for Kids Help Phone was held yesterday.
The event is a nationwide fundraiser in which people walk either three or five kilometers in support of the service. More than $190,000 was raised yesterday in Alberta alone.
The event is held in over 50 communities across the country, and raises money for Canada’s only toll-free, 24-hour phone and web counselling service for children and youth aged five to 20.
Chris Lavin, chair for the Kids Help Phone Edmonton, said the service combats an evolving set of problems for children, some of which are inescapable.
“When we were kids, I got bullied and it wasn’t fun, but when I went home it was over,” he said. “Now there is no safe place with [stuff like] cyber bullying.”
Lavin said that the key for their organization is a campaign of awareness so youth know the service is available.
“It’s just letting kids know that there’s a phone number for them to get help,” he said. “That’s what we need to get out there, if they call the number they will get help.”
Last year more than 20,000 people participated, raising $3 million across the country.