Helmets for Hardy continues to growYellowknife organization is expanding to provide helmets for kids territory-wide
Northern News Services
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Yellowknife charity Helmets for Hardy is expanding to communities outside the capital as founders Ed and Jackie Hardy continue to promote the importance of wearing head gear.
Local charity Helmets for Hardy received a donation of 19 more helmets from Sport North Aug. 6, which will be sent to communities outside the city. From left are Sport North special projects administrator Spider Jones, and organization founders Ed and Jackie Hardy. August 6, 2015. - Meagan Leonard/NNSL photo
Helmets for Hardy was formed in July 2012 in memory of the couple's 18-year-old son Josh who died after sustaining a head injury from a long-boarding accident. Since then, the organization has continued to grow with an annual event supplying children with multi-sport helmets for free. Now the couple are moving their message into the communities where the absence of helmets continues to be a concern.
On August 6, Sport North purchased 19 helmets from Overlander Sports to donate to the cause, which Jackie said will probably be sent out of the city.
"I know in Hay River, now that the strike is over, they want us to come down there and bring some helmets," said Jackie. "We also still have 40 helmets left over from our last event and we have sent them to some communities already like Tulita and Fort McPherson."
However, she emphasized they will not simply send helmets to the hamlets. Instead they prefer to come and give a presentation to kids about safety and ensure each helmet is properly fitted. If they cannot come, she says the RCMP or schools must provide the information.
"We're not just going to send you helmets. If anything, we could arrange to possibly come down there and speak to the kids and help fit the helmets because if they're not fit properly they're not going to help," she explained.
Jackie says they decided to distribute multi-sport helmets because they offer more protection than traditional bicycle styles and can be used for skateboarding, rollerblading and long-boarding.
"Bike helmets don't benefit anyone who is riding a skateboard because they're right at the top of the head," she explained. "When you fall backward, like unfortunately what happened with Josh, he hit the back of his head."
Sport North special projects administrator Spider Jones said funding for the helmets came from the Department of Health and Social Services in conjunction with a confession cafe held earlier this spring. He says their goal is two-fold: to get kids more active and also increase safety awareness.
"Our thought was if we could get teens feeling more comfortable and certainly safer when they're venturing into an activity ... here's a way for us to benefit everyone," he said.
Last year, the Hardys advocated for a bylaw in the city which requires all those under 18 to be wearing helmets. Ultimately Ed says, success in the initiative comes from the city, RCMP, schools and parents all working together.
"Part of it is having a law in place, good parenting, understanding and working all together," he said.