Each October, the Top Blokes community unites, igniting a blaze of passionate commitment and unwavering support for a cause that transcends states and territories - the Lift the Load challenge. It's a rallying cry for advocating positive mental health among young males, and this year was nothing short of a triumph!
In a show of solidarity, over 1,900 supporters took up the challenge - bearing a 10kg vest across 50km throughout the month. The result? An astounding achievement, with over $300,000 raised to help support social education programs directly in schools for boys and young men.
What makes the challenge particularly special is the personal stories we hear and read - the reasons why this challenge is personal to you.
Some supporters take on Lift the Load to challenge their own physical and mental fitness. Some choose the 10kg vest to keep alive the memory of a friend or loved one. Others take on the challenge to support positive outcomes for young male mental health and give boys and young men access to the support that they never had when growing up.
We also saw school communities take on the challenge too. Mount View and Kurri Kurri High School in the Hunter Valley rallied together with a series of events throughout the month, even hitting up the local Member of Parliament, Dan Repacholi and organising BBQs to bring people together to discuss the importance of positive mental health for young people. The schools raised over $10,000.
Whatever your reason, looking through the posts on social we can see the positive impact this mental health challenge has had on you all and we are honoured that you chose to drive that energy and passion to support Top Blokes Foundation and our work.
"I do these challenges for the person out there right now who is ready to throw in the towel on life. You can always go one more day. What's the worst that can happen with one more day? And maybe if you share your story with the right people, you might just find you want to stay around for a little longer." - @shay_hare
"As a husband, father and proud supporter of our youth's mental wellbeing....The cycle of silence around young men's mental health is one we must break, and I've committed to carrying a 10kg load for 50km to stand united with them. As a dad to three young men, this is a cause that is close to my heart." - @anthonyjosepg004
"The reason why we're doing this is for our mates. We are doing this so that if they ever got to that place they would have the services to get that help." @b.akers8
"What an awesome journey it's been over the whole month! Some ups and downs and a few new blisters and bruises but all in all a pretty incredible time getting out there and supporting the cause! It's been a pleasure hanging with all you amazing TB Legends!" @stefan trentini
"Never did I ever expect my life to turn upside down or my marriage to end the way it did when my husband, father to our 4 kids tried to take his own life on May 13th 2022. That was the last time our family was one, as he never returned home. I had not been aware of the Top Blokes Foundation prior to signing up to take on this 100kms. I have learnt so much about this foundation and the services of all the crew thanks to Reece Anderson and Rachel. So keep pushing along and together we can all make a difference." @bernadette marrone
"To the Lift the Load Challenge, thank you for giving me the opportunity to help out. Everyone has their own challenges in life and there are reasons why we do things; we are all motivated in different ways. This one was my older brother's voice telling me to have a crack.
I’d like to thank all of my Family and Friends who helped out in raising the funds for the charity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t have done this without your amazing support. RIP my brother." @mick reid
These are just a handful of the stories of motivation and we are so thankful to everyone who part! We look forward to seeing you all sign up for Lift the Load in 2024.