About Us

TODD Canada

TOGETHER OVERCOMING DARKNESS & DESPAIR 

From The Foundation:

The TODD Foundation began from the identification of needs that are being completely missed in our criminal justice system. The needs that are missing are for a group of people who are not always recognized as victims; the family and loved ones of those who are involved with the criminal justice system or incarcerated. We are a group of people dedicated to having these needs recognized.

Crime and incarceration are parts of a cycle; the cycle of harm. Through lived experience, we know that with opportunity and safety, healing from these traumas is possible; as is preventing them.

We offer a safe space where people are able to listen, learn, share and inform.

We provide a connection to information, resources, services and supports.

We accompany and advocate when needed.

We work with others to better the lives of those in need of our services.

All our services are culturally sensitive; with special consideration for Indigenous people.

We are committed to helping in any way we can.

From our members:

“I became involved in the T.O.D.D support group when my family member entered the criminal justice system. There were many questions and not a lot of answers to be found. The support group offers answers, helps with support and brings people together dealing with the same problems that each person goes through while their family member is away. People from all walks of life are welcomed with open arms and treated with love and respect. Topics range from where to find support from agencies to the government. Each person brings their own ideas and views to the group to help others in their struggle to come to terms with their loss. This support group can save a lot of people from dealing with pain and loneliness by themselves. The more support you can offer the more you can achieve success.”

“I came away from attending the support group feeling a little less alone and a bit wiser on what to expect, going forward. I only wish I had started them at the beginning of this awful journey so I knew what to expect right from the outset of charges being laid.”

From our Founder:

T.O.D.D grew from a families experiences, help received and what is needed. 

For my brother, the first night in prison was dark.

He was encouraged by staff and prisoners to end his life.

They chanted, yelled obscenities, threatened, kicked walls and doors.

He was alone, ashamed, afraid, consumed by darkness;

full of despair.

We also suffered; struggled to comprehend.

Our family took a life.

Viciously. Violently.

He committed murder and

two families were reeling.

One no longer seemed whole

The other no longer felt whole

All of this harm, at the hands of our…

Son.. Brother.. Nephew..

Uncle.. Cousin.. Friend.

What would we feel if it was our family

that had been murdered?

 We knew… what we would do.

Our patriarch declared that he would pull the trigger.

I suggested, rather than testing on animals,

testing on prisoners would suffice.

But now, with our family guilty, we knew nothing.

We did not know; 

What to do

How to cope

How to carry on… we too,

were consumed by darkness and

full of despair.

We felt the need to show our family our love.

With little knowledge of where he was,

we drove to the Remand Center.

We got out of our cars and

we began to wave and when it got dark,

we flashed our headlights.

In one of his darkest moments, when all seemed hopeless,

he was going to kill himself. But…

he saw us.

United in purpose,

we stood together and we waved.

Together,

we flashed our lights into the darkness.

He waved back.

He flashed his small cell light

into the darkness.

We continued to wave, we continued

to flash our lights.

For forty-nine nights

we continued.

Extended family joined

Friends joined

Strangers joined

Other prisoners joined

They waved back

They too flashed

their small cell lights

into the darkness

Together we are going through darkness and

together we will overcome

despair.

Our family is alive

because of love.

My brother has said,

that he did not know that we loved him

until after he committed murder.

For me,

this painful truth is telling.

 

T.O.D.D. stands for
Together Overcoming Darkness & Despair. It is a depiction of the cycle of harm and how by working together it ends. 
With love and gratitude,
Elizabeth (Bizz) Leenheer

Please contact us if you are in need of supports, we will do our best to support you in any way possible.

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