The Breaking Free Foundation is a non-profit organization, and the brain child of seven like-minded people who came together with a common goal to make an impact in the trauma community. We initially came together as a supportive group following the success of the first Victor Walk, which was an initiative created by Theo Fleury back in 2013.
BFF was years in the making, after many hours of defining what the need was, and what we wanted our role to be. Some of us are trauma survivors, others are just hard-working supporters who want to make a difference in the community.
The name “Breaking Free Foundation” came to fruition because we felt that was the number one thing we wanted to accomplish, helping people break free from trauma. We recognize that trauma comes in many forms, and its effects are widespread and global. We hope to help others break free from trauma, and our non-profit will continue to evolve to support the people affected by trauma.
Why The Elephant?
We weren’t sure for quite some time what kind of symbolism we were going to have attached to the Breaking Free Foundation, only that we wanted to keep the orange theme consistent between BFF and the Victor Walk, a colour that thousands of Canadians have been proudly wearing since the inaugural Victor Walk, and a colour that represents courage as well.
A couple of the board members were in the depths of a conversation about healing and where their journeys had brought them so far, and how interesting it is how everything happens for a reason, the Victor Walk after all, brought us all together. It was in this recognizing of meaning, that we noticed we were all wearing elephants. Initially, this was just deemed a very cool moment of synchronicity, but after some further research into the symbolism of elephants, it just made more and more sense.
Elephants have symbolic importance all over the world, from Eastern to Western influences, and there are some main symbolic themes: strength, stability and courage. These themes really spoke to what we thought BFF should be about, and who the people are that came together for this cause.
Elephants are caregivers in nature, and while looking after their own families, tend to babysit other elephants in their community, and they form strong bonds with the elephants they spend time around. This again is true of the trauma community we’re trying to create.
And finally, elephants commonly travel in sevens, and in our initial stages of creation, BFF consisted of seven directors (another cool discovery of synchronicity). So that is how we landed upon the elephant, and now we stand as a herd, hoping to lead and help others.