A small-scale project to show support for the Tk’emlups community and residential school survivors has taken off exponentially, according to Brock Fraser.
The Kamloops man said he was hit hard when he heard about the remains of 215 children found near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, which prompted him to act.
“I was overcome with emotions and took a couple days, sat on it, processed it and realized that I needed to do something outside of the keyboard,” Fraser said.
“For me, as an avid runner, I figured I could show my support by getting out and logging some miles, and hoping that people would join me along the way.”
Fraser started a fundraiser for the Indian Residential School Survivor Society. He said he will be running 215 kilometres over the next two weeks, in honour of the children found.
He began collecting donations on Facebook, where his $1,000 goal was quickly surpassed.
As of Monday evening, donations totalled nearly $38,360.
“That's only the donations that have been made to the page directly. We’ve also had a $5,000 direct donation from a family friend, and another anonymous donation well into the thousands, reportedly, so it's going better than I could have ever expected,” Fraser said.
“When it started out, I was just doing it small scale, hoping to support the Indian Residential School Survivor Society as much as I could possibly, just on a solo-out-by-myself-running scale. And it took off exponentially. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, to say the least, but such a positive experience.”
He has invited members of the community to join him on his runs, which will start and finish from the residential school itself. The first run took place on Monday night.
Fraser said he will be running 10 runs of 21.5 kilometres each, with some rest days in between.
“Whether it's biking, running, running portions of the runs that I post or the whole run, it doesn't matter. Everybody's welcome to join and show support. The more the better,” Fraser said.
He said he will be collecting donations for the next two weeks as he completes the 215-kilometre distance. All funds raised will go to the Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society.