Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thank You Xerox!

September 6
We are finally back home, which means Carol, Lindsay and I have a much needed break and an opportunity to reflect on our amazing journey across Canada. Top of mind for each of us is the overwhelming support for the Ride For Mental Health in every city and town along the route. The people of Xerox have always reached out to support one another, and the Ride is a fine example. Whether we needed a website to be developed, the theme song Open Minds Open Hearts to be written and produced, a blog to be set up, experienced riders to pull us through mountains, hills and river valleys, or hundreds of hours of planning and execution of no less than 16 awareness and fund raising events across Canada, the Xerox team was always there for us. What an amazing statement about the Xerox culture of caring and teamwork and being there for one another when we need it most. Although it is difficult to measure mental health awareness, I am comfortable in declaring that this 100 day campaign has been successful beyond all expectations. The funds raised will be in excess of $200,000 when we close the books in another month. The mental health awareness that we have all helped to create through the many local events is unprecedented in Xerox and I suspect in any Canadian corporation. As I have said many times this year, awareness works to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. The Ride For Mental Health has been a solid start to bringing mental illness out of the shadows. My daughter Lindsay has had the courage to discuss her mental illness openly in every day language in front of groups and in classrooms across Canada. I am proud of our progress and realize we have just begun the journey. There is so much more opportunity. This is exactly how we must view it - as a big opportunity for each individual and for Xerox .
Thank you for your enthusiastic support. It means the world to the Thompson family and to the tens of thousands of other families who live with mental illness every day.
Awareness works! Stay tuned for regular updates to the Blog.


  1. Congratulations Mel, Carol and Lindsay!
    Glad we had the opportunity to meet you along the way....
    Norm & Charlene Desrochers, Golden, BC

  2. Hi Mel. Congratulation from Sandy and me. We knew you could do it and hope some of the things we did, together with our daughter, Shannon, who is on the Board of Mental Health, as you know, were helpful. We were successful in speading more awareness about mental health in our village, which was recongnized with the donations we received.

  3. To the family Thompson,
    Congratulations. You had a dream and you made it a reality. Mel, from the first time you told me about the trip I was in awe, and knew that you would do it. I have tracked your progress, and saw the courage you all demonstrated as you made your way across Canada. And to Lindsay, you have inspired me with your story. I am sure the experiences you have had along the way will forever be in your hearts as something you did together. I thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us. I personally thank you for creating an awareness of an illness that so many of us secretly hide away. You have brought to light the ability for me to say I am a better person today because of the help I have received from those in the mental health profession. Again, congratulations and thank you.
    Larry Williamson

  4. I am in pure amazement. The last ride I tried to make, long distance, was from St. Albins, Vermont down to New York City. Guess what happened? By the time we actually got out of Vermont, we were out of tire tubes and patches, a fellow rider was too hurt to ride anymore, and the best part of our adventure...Walking for miles in the dark far from civilization as we know it. I dont regret the trip one bit, but I only wish we could have finished. Congrats on your achievement and a beautifully made blog.