The donors: Mary, Kit and Jennie Muir
The gift: Raising $215,000 and climbing
The cause: Skylark Children, Youth and Families
When Mary Muir started an annual walk in Toronto in memory of her husband James, she wanted to raise money for a local charity and bring badly needed attention to mental health.
Mr. Muir died by suicide in 2012 after a long struggle with mental-health issues. The walk, called James' Journey, began in May, 2015, and Ms. Muir and her children, Kit and Jennie, raised about $50,000 in the first couple of years. Since then, the event has grown and the family organizes a separate fundraising night as well. The events have raised $215,000 in total and the proceeds go to Skylark Children, Youth and Families, a Toronto organization that helps young people and their families cope with mental-health needs.
Ms. Muir has had to confront another mental-health challenge. Her oldest child, 24-year-old Kit, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 and is now on medication and working with a wellness coach. “On this path with Kitty I have seen how the stigma around mental health is still rampant as is the lack of true understanding,” she said. “And more than ever we know how important it is that we keep the conversation going.”