Whatever your personal feelings are about our troops overseas I think we all support the families of these soldiers and have empathy for everything they go through. They spend long periods apart and the support we get from our families is not always available to them when they face tragedies: big and small. Sometimes they just need to get away from it all and spend quality time together; something we take for granted but is a luxury for them.
That’s why we created ‘Chalets For The Canadian Forces‘ where we could take what we do – creating vacation memories for families in the Blue Mountain Collingwood area – and turn it into something that can help them. Here’s how it works as well as some ways you or your business can do the same.
- We have 3 bedroom mountainside condos and chalets ranging from 3 to 8 bedrooms most of them with hot tubs and all with full amenities and access to all the wonderful things to do in the Blue Mountain Collingwood area.
- When we have availability – in other words, unrented properties – we offer free accommodation to Canadian Forces families who have suffered loss, or whose Canadian Forces member has been injured or just currently deployed and could use some respite.
Sometimes families just need to find time to relax and reconnect in moments like these. Here’s some memories of some families who have taken advantage of the program:
“It was like living ‘The Lives of the Rich and Famous’…It was absolutely amazing…It was sooo important…and so appreciated…we were only able to stay two nights but it was exactly what we needed. YOU DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our lives!!”
“Our family had a wonderful time reminiscing the times of my son, a fallen soldier.”
“As a result of his illness, we had to cancel a trip to Cuba, which very much disappointed (the kids)..we could certainly use a break after all we’ve gone through in the last month.”
And here’s a great video done on our program by a local tv station which shows how, for one family, sometimes it’s just the little moments that are missed. Get a hanky!
So if you know of a Canadian Forces family that are in this situation share this with them using the tools below or have them call 877-368-2583 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book their time. We’ll do our best to accommodate them.
And, if you’re a family who has already taken advantage of our offer, please share your memories by email or on our new Facebook page www.facebook.com/bluemountainlodges .
We’re also told by our partners at the Military Family Resource Centre that people often say they wish they could do something so here’s four ideas on how you – or your business – can help.
- Is there something your business does or makes that could provide support? For example, VIA has trains so they offer free travel for those wanting to get home. Or you may be a smaller business like ourselves that can offer something. We challenge you to come up with something then click here to make it happen. http://www.cfpsa.com/sponsorship/
- Write to the Troops Here”s a ‘Morale by Message Board’ where you can send a message of support particularly during key holiday seasons when being apart hurts the most. http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Commun/message/index-eng.asp
- Wear Red on Friday Did you know that people wear red on Fridays to show support for the Canadian Forces and their families (just like Tiger Woods does on Sundays in a tournament)? It’s subtle but shows the families you care. And when people gather it makes quite an impact. The London Knights encouraged everyone to wear red during their Friday night games this year.
- Buy Official ‘Support Our Troops’ Merchandise. All proceeds are reinvested directly into morale and welfare programs for Forces members and their families. Like us, Old Navy found a way to tie it into what they do to show support by offering clothes for sale through their stores. Click here for more info: https://www3.cfpsa.com/wyn2/en/sot/shoplist.aspx
Is there a way you can show these families we care?
Addendum: Just received a nice email from Mike M. “I recently got back from Afghanistan and just heard about your offer from a friend of mine who is still there (by the way, all of our members think this is fantastic so thank you!). Thanks again!” Thanks for the feedback Mike.