Founder & Chair of the Board, Little Warriors
Social Change Award, WEST
Little Warriors is a national, charitable organization committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. The charity offers a free workshop to educate adults on how to help prevent child sexual abuse, and the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch, located east of Edmonton, is a first of its kind long-term treatment center for children ages 8-12 years old who have been sexually abused, giving survivors the essential support they need to grow into happy, healthy adults. The organization was founded in 2008 as part of Glori Meldrum’s dream to open a treatment center and change the lives — and the futures — of children across Canada.
The one piece of advice I would give to someone interested in starting out is “Don’t give up”. Listen to the little voice inside. If you are called to do something like starting an organization and building it from the ground up, lean-in to do it. It becomes part of you, and for all the work that it takes, I think that’s where all of the gifts that you are seeking in your life can be found. There will be many challenges and curve balls along the way; rise above them, and keep going. It may take months, or it may take years. Keep looking ahead to the bigger picture, the reason you started the journey in the beginning. Don’t give up.
What I wish I knew at the beginning is when I hit challenges that were beyond my control, to not waste time dwelling on it and getting discouraged. Just try a different approach. Regroup and look in different directions, turn new stones. With charitable work, time and effort is one of your most valuable commodities. It took many years of pounding the pavement requesting funding, vying for donations, and, at the same time, trying to put a face to a serious issue like child sexual abuse prevention and treatment. If I had realized in the beginning that innovative, passionate and change-driven people and businesses could be found to step up and help me along the way. They were there already, in my network of friends, colleagues, network and supporters.