Published by Maclean's, Trails ranked 2nd in the youth category and 4th overall of Canada's Best Charities. The Canada's Best Charities 2020 list helps Canadians evaluate where to allocate charity contributions. Our inclusion on this highly respected list validates Trails impact with a 95% grade. The Charity Intelligence assessment investigates financial metrics and transparency, rewarding those with the most effective use of donations.
Trails creates opportunities for vulnerable youth from the Greater Toronto Area to learn and grow through experiences in the outdoors. Trails focuses on meaningful change over a long period of time, building trust and relationships between all of those involved in the Trails community. This long term commitment to the participants is one of the attributes that truly sets this program apart. Participants spend five years creating community, learning and growing together. This model of delivery allows participants to build meaningful relationships, gain progressive skills that are transferable beyond the backcountry into their everyday lives, andexperience safe adventure through many scaffolded experiences.
Trails is an organization invested in preparing our youth who, without the support of the program, might be not have an opportunity to reach their potential as contributing members of society.
The reason that I LOVE this organization and have supported it for so many years is because of the deep connections that are made over a long period of time. It’s not a one-off program that limits the impact but rather the four plus years that participants can be involved allows for a real depth of personal growth and development. As a facilitator, I saw first hand the incredible positive changes that youth were able to make with all of the supports at Trails.
Trails Youth Initiatives is not just a program. It is truly a community that builds roots in people’s lives so that they may spread their wings and contribute to their communities and the world at large!
Trails has become our children's second family. It has taught them confidence to face life's challenges and equipped them with the right tools to get through tough times. These experiences had an immeasurable impact on who my children are today and their future successes.
Trails has not only taught my children survival and outdoor educational skills; it provided an opportunity for my children to have one weekend a month to de-stress, to spend four years making friends. Many times I have needed the help of the mentors at trails to talk with my children.
I recommend Trails to our students because of the chance to build their conflict-resolution skills and social/emotional skills and to be a part of a community that will nurture them to reach their full potential.
Trails has taught my children to be more confident in their everyday choices and decisions and to be equipped to not be influenced by peer pressure. It is a home away from home where they are safe, happy and comfortable.
The commitment that Trails makes to its kids is the commitment that our kids need – they need to know that they have a caring adult who is on their side for the long haul.