Limitless Gear in Prince Albert is joining forces with the Prince Albert Firefighters Charity Fund to raise money and spread awareness for mental health.
All proceeds from the sale of a specially designed t-shirt will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Prince Albert, explained Limitless Gear owner Cody Demerais.
“Not a single dollar is staying in the store or going back to the firefighters. Every single dollar is going to Canadian Mental Health,” Demerais said.
The t-shirts are $25 each and feature logos of the three organizations. Demerais said there’s about 300 t-shirts available and once they sell out the fundraiser will be done for the year.
He said the groups have been talking and hope they can turn this into an annual initiative with an in-person event once people can safely gather in large groups.
Demerais said the firefighter’s charity group reached out to him a few months ago with the goal of putting an initiative together, they just weren’t sure what it would look like.
After a few phone calls, the groups landed on giving back to the CMHA.
“There’s no time like the present that (mental health has) probably been wearing on a few people around with the world’s current situation,” Demerais explained.
Demerais knows how mental health can affect people, having been through a traumatic experience and suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When he was 18, Demerais was drinking and driving and got into a bad car crash.
His best friend was in the car and almost didn’t survive the crash. Demerais later attempted suicide but survived. Since this experience, he’s been passionate about giving back to Canadian mental health.
He said it’s important to him to raise awareness about mental health, especially with self-isolation and lockdown measures in place.
“It can hit you at any age, any position of life,” he said.
Mental health and PTSD is something that firefighters and other first responders deal with as well, said Prince Albert Firefighters charity group president, Graham Pedersen.
“We’re exposed to a lot of terrible things. We see a lot of terrible things with our job and it affects all of us at some point throughout our career,” Pedersen said.
“To have these groups and organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association, to have them in place and have these programs that can we reach out to if we ever need support is a big thing for us.”
Pedersen said the group reached out to Demerais to collaborate because they knew he was a proponent of mental health and PTSD awareness.
The T-shirts are available for purchase at Limitless Gear which is located at 909 Central Ave. The businesses website can be found at www.limitlessgearclothing.com