Red background. Text: Why I walk, Joe Lethbridge, 11-time WAM participant." Photo of Joe and a friend on the right.

Why I’ve ‘Walked A Mile In Their Shoes’ for 11 Years – Guest blog by Walk A Mile in Their Shoes participant Joe Lethbridge

Joe Lethbridge is well known in the downtown Galt community for his artwork and photography. He’s been a supporter of YWCA Cambridge’s Walk A Mile campaign for over 11 years. We asked him to share his story about his long-standing commitment to ending gender-based violence and supporting YWCA Cambridge’s violence prevention programming. 

October 14 of this year will be my eleventh Walk A Mile in Their Shoes to benefit the programs of YWCA Cambridge.  While I have done other fundraising activities for other social agencies, YWCA Cambridge has been a constant for me.  

It was almost twenty years ago I got involved with a YWCA Cambridge program called Dress for Success which provided job interview/work clothing for participants in the pre-employment and life skills program. I had been involved with a nonprofit thrift store at the time.

The initial walk I took part in, I did so in honour and memory of Stuart Summerhayes who walked his last Walk A Mile event with stage four cancer, crossing the finishing line with the trademark red heels and a smile.

Today, I continue these annual walks and on completion of each walk, I already look forward to the following year’s event. Gender-based violence is a huge issue, which has grown exponentially since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns. Rates of violence are especially alarming for Black, Indigenous and people of colour, as well as trans and gender diverse individuals. 

Be it sunny, cloudy or rainy, I will be back again this year and every year to support YWCA Cambridge and their vital programming aimed at deterring gender-based violence before it happens and getting the word out about the prevalence of gender-based violence.

I hope to see you there, walking along or cheering us on or pledging your support by donating to my walk or another team’s.

You can donate to my walk here:

Register yourself along with your friends and family to be a Walk A Mile team, or donate directly to the Walk A Mile campaign  here:

YWCA Cambridge has a lofty goal of reaching $50,000 dollars to support their programming, and I hope that together, we can help them reach their goal.

Thank you 

Joe Lethbridge

Walk A Mile in Their Shoes is an annual fundraising and awareness campaign by YWCA Cambridge. Now in its 14th year, this campaign is about raising awareness of gender-based violence and raising funds to support YWCA Cambridge’s community-based violence prevention programming across Waterloo Region. YWCA has no core, sustainable funding to support its programming, so fundraisers like this one are critical to our sustainability and ability to meet growing demand for our programs and services.

Photo of Joe Lethbridge participating in a past Walk A Mile event
Joe Lethbridge struts in the iconic red high heels at a past Walk A Mile event.

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