Whether you’re a First Responder or a civilian, it’s our goal to make sure everyone can access the mental health services they need. Help us support our mission for mental health by running (or walking) in support of Ottawa First Responders Foundation.

A huge thank you to the 9runrun participants and donors that have raised over $70,000 in support of Ottawa First Responders Foundation! 

9 reasons why you should run 9runrun for Ottawa First Responders Foundation:

  1. First Responders sacrifice well-being as part of their workday to keep us safe, getting help needs to be simple.
  2. Being a First Responder was hard BEFORE the pandemic, everyday since has been harder.
  3. Most First Responders will not make it to retirement without being injured or ill due to their jobs. Only 4% of paramedics retire after a full career.
  4. Tri-service includes all First Responders of all stripes, and in this family no one stands alone be they volunteer, on leave, retired, or a veteran. 
  5. Ottawa First Responders Foundation was created in response to First Responders by First Responders whose vision ensures mental health well-being services are available and equitable for all tri-service members.
  6. Ottawa First Responders Foundation provides support for First Responder families, especially in tough times, through groups, peer support, and education sessions.
  7. Peer support services help, and more are needed to cover tri-service members when they need it most.
  8. Occupational stress or post-trauma stress are normal adaptations and are not shameful. Education and coping tools are evolving and we are always learning.
  9. Pathways to care are self-determined by clients and a roster of clinicians are maintained for urgent appropriate counselling. Anonymous support helps reduce barriers to appropriate clinicians.

Information and Fundraising Guide

Your 9runrun RAISING FUNDS guide:

Now you are registered and you have potentially recruited a team as STEP 1.
STEP 2: raise awareness and funds for Ottawa First Responders Foundation and First Responder mental health services.

This guide is meant to assist you to creatively engage in FUN-draising and personalize your plan to accompany your running goals. Your fundraising plan is up to you
Your plan can be as easy as sending messages to friends and networks with a link to your personal page and a request for support, or your fundraising can be a bit more complex, like small events or a raffle for some great prizes (please respecting social distancing).
A mix of these two methods can be a really fun way to rally your communities/networks behind a common cause and raise some vital funds for the work of your favourite charities. 

Here are 9 tips to help you achieve the most of your fundraising efforts:

  1. Set an aspirational goal
    Set clear goals you feel you can reach. You can always increase your target later if you are pleasantly surprised by the support you are receiving. Set yourself a goal that you feel is achievable and yet a bit ambitious, then set a target for each fundraising effort, for example, $400 from emails, $200 from family, $300 from virtual events (like a 50/50 raffle), $100 office mates.
  2. You don’t have to do it alone: create a team
    Can you rally friends and family around the same cause? Are you looking for a great team-building opportunity for your workplace? Fundraising for 9runrun as a team can be fun and can help keep you accountable to your training and fundraising. Teams can also reach more people by pooling resources or sharing in the workload of pulling off a virtual event, like a trivia night or a wine and cheese social. (Respecting  Public Health Pandemic guidelines at the time of the event.)
  3. Create a network map
    Who is your network? Your network is much bigger than you think.
    A simple exercise can help you think through who you can involve and how they can support you. A network map is a great way to reach out to everyone in a planned way and think through all the people you could involve. Don’t forget the groups you are part of, and then the people you know who may ask groups they are part of on your behalf.
  4. Make giving easy for your supporters
    Thanks to Race Roster, 9runrun offers free personalized fundraising pages for teams and individuals. You can personalize the message, the photo, set your fundraising goal and receive comments from donors, AND these pages can easily be shared with your network.
    Pro tip: Add your goal and the link to your fundraising page in your email signature, so everyone will know who you are fundraising for.
  5. Make it personal
    Network connections are usually willing to make charitable gifts and enjoy supporting someone’s goal, especially when they feel the cause is important to you or part of shared values. The reason people generally support a charity is through a personal connection. Talk to your network about why supporting 9runrun and Ottawa First Responders Foundation is important to you, why you think their work is important, or why you want to raise as much money for this cause as possible.
  6. The answer will always be no unless you ask
    Many donors say they feel good about giving, especially to support a cause through someone they know but they won’t give unless they are asked. Send an email to everyone in your network (see #4), and follow-up regularly to share your training, fundraising updates and stories about 9runrun and Ottawa First Responders Foundation.
    Pro tip: Check with your employer to see if they will match your donations. Many companies have corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that employees can utilize for this very purpose.
  7. Get social
    Use online fundraising tools and your social platforms to reach a broader audience, and make sure to tag 9runrun and Ottawa First Responders Foundation in your posts. Consider tagging and challenging your favourite media personalities or friends, so they can share your message. And don’t be afraid to ask people to share your post or tweet.
    Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to share your message frequently. The more you share on social media the more people you reach, and you increase your chances of reaching your fundraising goal. Each message can have parts of your story, as well as the link to support.
  8. Set up a small event
    Think of what you do already and make an event around that, respecting social distancing guidelines:

    • Sell baked goods online.
    • Set up small challenges (like push-ups or training milestones) and ask people to sponsor each small challenge along the way.
    • Partner with a company that offers virtual fundraising opportunities, like Pampered Chef.
    • Offer a virtual class or workshop.
    • Get creative!
  9. Say ‘Thank You’
    Keep track of the people who support your efforts and send them a thank you email or note after their gift and once you have completed the event. It is great to include a photo of you at your personal finish line and report back on how much you raised in total.

The list of fundraising ideas is endless and is only limited by your imagination. Start by registering for 9runrun OR if you are already registered and are interested in fundraising please follow the instructions below to get started with your personal page.

How to:
Personalize your fundraising page.
Create a fundraising team!
Join an existing fundraising team
Already Registered and want to create a team? Email

The funds raised by 9runrun participants and their donors will support the Ottawa First Responders Foundation.
Evidence shows that first responders are at least twice as likely compared to the general population to suffer Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD), due to the risk of the routine exposure to trauma stressors. The average person may experience an average of one traumatic incident in their lifetime. The average first responder will encounter 600 such incidents within their working life.


9runrun brings together a community of those who love running, but also want to “Help the Helpers”.