London poverty advocate Abe Oudshoorn has completed his 30 triathlons in 30 days to raise funds for Atlosha Family Healing Services (AFHS).
Initially starting with a target goal of $10,000, Oudshoorn was able to present a cheque to the organization Tuesday morning for $15,541.
"The funds raised through Abe's 30-in-30 triathlon will help with our homelessness division," says Raymond Deleary, executive director at Atlosha.
The organization provides services to vulnerable people in the community who are most in need.
"It will help with our front-line shelter, our resting spaces and front-line services that assist individuals and their families in seeking and finding affordable, safe and secure housing."
Oudshoorn would wake up each morning and be in the pool by 6 a.m.. He would complete a 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike ride, and 5 kilometre run. These were completed indoors at the YMCA Centre Branch.
"It was a roller-coaster," says Oudshoorn. "Some days you were feeling great, then you feel it slowly falling apart, so it was up and down physically. However knowing people were waiting for me to show up, it made me say you have to be there no matter what."
Prior to the cheque presentation, Oudshoorn was presented with a ribbon shirt. It's a rarely given gift which showed the organization's appreciation for the work he's been doing.
Dennis Whiteye, manager of community services at Atlohsa Family Healing Services, presents a ribbon shirt to poverty advocate Abe Oudhsoorn in London, Ont. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Brent Lale / CTV London)
"To get this ribbon shirt, its like a healing experience for me too. There are things I’ve participated in the past that have been not respectful, and to learn about the Indigenous community it feels great to be welcomed in this way."
The morning reception took place in the "See Me" exhibit space at AFHS. It speaks to murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and memorializes the names and faces not often heard.
Atlosha says that three per cent of the population in London is Indigenous, but 30 per cent of the homeless population in Indigenous.
"Ideally we'd like to see donations and support from the community which is proportionate to the issue at hand," says Deleary.
"What Abe has demonstrated is that it is possible and it doesn't have to be an Indigenous led fundraiser. It can come from society as a whole."
While the cheque has already been presented, the fundraising link will remain active for another month for those who wish to contribute.