We hear it all the time: families who wish they’d heard of Threads of Life sooner; companies that tell us ‘we’d never heard of you guys’ but who are happy to support our work; friends and strangers who ask “what’s that?” when we mention Threads of Life. One of the biggest challenges for Threads of Life is making sure that those who need us know that Threads of Life exists.
Our goal in 2018 is to reach more Canadian families than ever. How will we do it? Only with a lot of help from you!
Currently, Threads of Life is supporting 2,700 family members across the country. That number grows every year – in 2017, 60 new families found us. While we all wish Threads of Life wasn’t needed, we know that this is only a fraction of the people who could benefit from our Volunteer Family Guides, family forums, peer support groups, newsletters and other services.
One of Threads of Life’s policies is that we don’t reach out directly to families following a work-related tragedy. We believe that there’s a right time for people to find our programs – and that time is different for everyone (as Kate Kennington, our Manager of Family Support explains). That means we need lots of different paths families can follow to find us.
Here’s how it happens:
- Threads of Life’s partners – both government and corporate – make a huge contribution by sharing the word so that people can find Threads of Life when they need it. In 2017, more than a third of the new families who came to Threads of Life said they found us through a partner organization. This is especially true of the compensation boards and ministries of labour across the country, whose staffs provide information directly to those affected by workplace tragedies. We make presentations and offer printed materials so that ministry inspectors, compensation case managers and others have the up-to-date knowledge to make those connections.
- Through Steps for Life and the media: Every spring around Steps for Life, new families come to Threads of Life. Volunteers planning the community events do such a great job of promotion, with high-profile posters, brochures and event listings, that the information is hard to miss. Last year, the walk and the resulting media coverage brought a quarter of the new families who found us.
- Through social media and the web site: When the time is right, people who’ve experienced a work-related tragedy go searching for help and support. More and more, they find Threads of Life through our Facebook page and through this web site. Thank you, Google!
- Through family and friends: Someone who is already experiencing Threads of Life’s programs and support is the best ambassador of all. Often, it’s the word-of-mouth testimony from family and friends that inspires someone to reach out and look for healing for themselves.
How you can help us reach our goal:
We want to make sure every Canadian family that could benefit from Threads of Life’s programs and services, is able to find us. As you see, you play a vital role in making their happen! Here’s what you can do:
- Follow and share: Follow us on social media (you can see the links at the bottom of this page) and share our posts – you never know who among your network might be in need of a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on.
- Distribute information: if you’re a safety professional, or a labour inspector, or a social services worker, or a bereavement counsellor or a dozen other roles, you can pass along information to people who may need it. We can provide brochures, or you could simply offer people the link to the Threads of Life web site.
- Promote Steps for Life: The more buzz we can create around this important event each year, the more people will be able to find the hope and healing they need.
- Talk it up: Don’t be afraid to tell others what you know about Threads of Life. Thousands of people have discovered that they’re not alone in their grief and questioning. Let’s make sure Threads of Life is not Canada’s best kept secret!
Her background is in journalism, public relations and health and safety.