When COVID struck, people all over Toronto looked for ways to help their communities. Stephanie helped using something she already loves to do: riding her bike.
Stephanie was part of CRUSH COVID, a 24-hour virtual cycling fundraiser for Michael Garron Hospital created in partnership with local cycling syndicate Toronto Hustle in March. It saw 39 teams, 418 cyclists, and over 2,500 donors participate, raising an astonishing $254,000. That result was crushed in March 2021, when 500 cyclists gathered online for CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind and raised an incredible $443,000 to support the Transitional Youth Program at Michael Garron Hospital as well as its new state-of-the-art mental health facilities.
CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind saw many amazing moments. One cyclist broke the Guinness World Record for greatest distance covered in 24 hours: 681 km!
“Given how important mental health is, and how little attention the topic has received up until recently, we have a lot of room to grow in terms of the types of conversations we have about it and the support that comes as a result,” Stephanie says. “This event brought a lot of positive attention to the mental health topic, and made the discussions surrounding it more accessible.”
What does being a good neighbour mean to Stephanie? She says it means “acting in a mindful and conscientious way that ultimately benefits members of the community that you are a part of.”
“Communities thrive when they are supported, and when the support comes incrementally through local engagement, it ultimately strengthens connections and relationships that will carry forward.”
While Stephanie has found one amazing way to give back, she knows there are so many more. “People can give back by becoming active participants in their own communities” she says.