$40,000 Raised for Mental Health

Third Space Charity

When 23-year-old Sam Biffart decided to ride a bicycle from Victoria to the Alberta border to raise money for Third Space Charity and young adult mental health, he set an ambitious fundraising goal of $15,000.

Less than a month after he hopped on the saddle of his gravel bike to start his BC Trek for mental health, Sam not only surpassed that goal, but managed to more than double it after his efforts so impressed the team at the Stober Foundation they offered to match whatever he raised.

“When they got in touch and let me know they wanted to match what I’d raised with BC Trek, I couldn’t believe it, to be honest. I’m so incredibly grateful!” says Sam. “This whole wild adventure challenged me mentally and physically in more ways than I could ever have imagined, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of so many friends, family, sponsors, and even complete strangers, who donated money, and rooted me on along the way.”

BC Trek took Sam on a journey of more than 1,500 kilometres with 15,550 metres of incline, equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest, which is 8,848 metres, twice! Along with the physical and mental challenges of undertaking such a journey solo, Sam had to contend with unexpected environmental challenges including excessive rain and flood warnings, washed out roads, colder-than-normal temperatures, and reports of bear sightings along his intended route.

“I’d planned to stay off main roads and camp as much as possible, but given the weather and other factors, I had to change plans in order to finish the journey,” he says. “It was definitely wild, and one of the most fulfilling, uncomfortable, memorable, painful at times, exhilarating, fun, exhausting, and enjoyable adventures of my life so far. It taught me a lot about my own capabilities, and I can’t wait for the next one.” 

The $40,000 Sam raised through BC Trek will go to support Third Space Charity’s valuable community mental health programs, which include an intensive, practicum program for clinical counsellors in training, and free supportive care counselling for young adults between 18 and 29.

“We’re absolutely blown away by Sam’s commitment to supporting young adult mental health, and the incredible effort and passion he put into this fundraising bike ride,” says executive director Karen Mason. “Not only will the money he raised truly help change lives, but he’s also been an incredible inspiration and example of resilience to so many along the way.”

Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on peoples’ mental health, Sam’s BC Trek was well-timed. Statistics Canada reported from September to December of 2020 that 1 in 5 Canadians over 18 screened positive for symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD. Young adults 18 to 24 were  most likely to report those symptoms. (Three times higher than in older adults), and of those who screened positive for a disorder, 68% reported that their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic.

BC Trek was only possible thanks to support from a number of valued sponsors. They include:

Innov8 Digital Solutions, Janzen Insurance, Momentum Realty Inc, Smith Creek Cycle, Kinetic

Evolution and Tool Shed Brewing.