On any given workday in Canada, three people will die from a job-related accident, life-altering injury or occupational disease. Even one is too many.
On the morning of our Annual Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament and Trade Show, Patti Penny showed up first thing with her hands full – one carried a banner while the other grasped a large stack of pamphlets. At eight a.m. sharp, her bright green polo and smile stood out from the rest of the room. Patti was eager to set up her booth – but, she wasn’t there to promote tools or safety equipment. In fact, she wasn’t selling anything at all. Patti was there on behalf of Threads of Life, ready to speak with our customers about workplace tragedies; a cause that’s near and dear to her heart.
When he was 26, Patti’s son Luke was part of a construction crew working on the foundation of a garage when a trench collapsed, causing a concrete wall to fall on top of him. Luke was killed instantly.
As critical as it is to promote safety and prevention, at Levitt-Safety we recognize the importance of also paying homage to those who have lost their lives from workplace accidents; these individuals are the very reason we come to work each day. When Levitt-Safety recognized the opportunity to support Threads of Life, we didn’t hesitate to get involved. Since partnering with the organization in 2012, we’ve raised over $34,000 and continue to look for ways to support their mission.
What is Threads of Life?
The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as Threads of Life, is a Canadian registered charity that’s dedicated to supporting families affected by workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational diseases. Threads of Life’s mission is to help families heal through a community of support and advocate for the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths. Their Board of Directors is comprised of family members who have been affected by workplace tragedy and experts from Canada’s workplace health and safety community. At present, their hardworking group of volunteers support nearly 3,000 family members across Canada.
How does Threads of Life support families?
When you’re a victim of workplace tragedy, you need the support of someone who’s been there; someone who knows what it’s like to lose a loved one to similar circumstances. Threads of Life works to create peer support groups across the country with that exact guidance in mind.
Each support group is run by a victim themselves, once they have reached a point in their healing process where they feel able to help others. These groups are matched based on relationship; mother-to-mother, spouse-to-spouse, sibling-to-sibling and so forth.
Not only can these groups help victims cope with their loss, but they can also share similar experiences and provide help when it comes to other aspects such as dealing with coroner inquests and Ministry of Labour investigations.
Additionally, Threads of Life offers workshops that focus on grieving, self-care and learning more about the health and safety system in Canada. Thanks to funds raised by donors, the expenses for members to attend their annual forums in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia are completely covered.
Their annual Steps for Life walks (which happen throughout 25 different cities across Canada each year) gives local communities the opportunity to come together and raise funds for the cause.
How can you get involved with Threads of Life?
If you’re interested in becoming involved, reflecting on the four pillars of the organization (which are always in need of more support) is a great place to start:
- Grow Awareness: Their ultimate goal is that all Canadian families who are experiencing a workplace tragedy are aware of Threads of Life and the programs that are available at no cost.
- Grow their Volunteer Base: Threads of Life relies on their dedicated volunteers to help deliver their programs and services, and plan events. Volunteer opportunities exist across Canada to support Steps for Life walks, plan third-party events or represent Threads of Life at trade shows and events.
- Grow Participation: Events like Steps for Life (and the many third-party fundraising events hosted on their behalf) not only raise funds, but they also help spread the word about Threads of Life and their services, helping more people find them.
- Grow Revenue: This will ensure Threads of Life can continue to offer their programs to more Canadian families experiencing a life-altering workplace injury, illness or death.