9 Sep 2015
Bullying Ends Here
Hi! My name is Tad Milmine and I am the creator and founder of Bullying Ends Here. With the new school year now underway I wanted to share with you my anti-bullying program and also thank Dominion Lending Centres for being my National Founding Sponsor.
I created Bullying Ends Here for two reasons. The first is because of my own challenges growing up in an abusive home full of addictions and neglect. I was locked in a basement for 12 years where I was only allowed to leave to go to school. One might think that would be a positive, however, for me, it was another challenge because I used to be terribly shy and introverted. I would cry with any sort of negativity towards me. Needless to say, my fellow peers would call me names on a daily basis so they could see me cry. This was a daily occurrence but escalated in time to physical assaults and threats. I kept everything in because I always felt that no one would understand because I was the only one feeling this way. On top of all of that, I was also holding in another secret, one that I didn’t understand, that I was gay.
I always had a dream that I wanted to grow up to be a police officer but never thought I would be good enough or would be accepted. At the age of 17 I ran away from home and started a new life. It wasn’t easy but I was committed. I accepted myself and began to believe in myself. At the age of 32, I believed in myself so much that I decided to try to achieve my childhood dream. I applied to the RCMP. Because I believed and that I tried, I achieved. I am currently a first responder Police Officer in Calgary.
But this is only half of the reason why I created this charity. The second is because in late October 2011, I was reading the news when I saw a headline stating ‘Ottawa Teen Takes His Own Life Because Of Severe Bullying’. This article was about a boy I had never met named Jamie HUBLEY. Reading his story would truly change my life because it was that night that I realized that there are young people today that still feel the way that I always felt….alone! I decided that I never wanted anyone to feel that way again and that I was going to at least TRY.
I created this very simple and unique program where I go to schools, corporations, community groups and prisons to speak to anyone that will listen about my story in hopes that they will see they are not alone. I created a website (bullyingendshere.ca) where people can reach out to me and know they always have a friend.
Since November 2012, I have personally received over 40,000 emails to which I respond to each and every one myself. Although I am not a professional or counsellor, I make a great friend who will listen.
Most incredible is the fact that Bullying Ends Here is credited with saving 32 lives to date!
I can also say that I have presented to over 150,000 across Canada.
One might look at this and say “wow what great success”, but I think it’s a shame that it is even required. I have made a promise to myself and everyone else that I will do all that I can to help make our world a better place and if that means I have to share my most vulnerable, personal moments in life, then so be it. If it helps just one person, then I will do it.
This “success” however does not come cheap. To travel coast to coast to coast (and soon beyond our coasts), costs money. I do not accept a single penny for my time or expertise, just hope to cover the costs associated with reaching in person. This program would not work if not for the direct, personal connection. I am so proud to say that Dominion Lending Centres (DLC) believes in making this world a better place just as much as I do. DLC has stepped up to be Bullying Ends Here’s Founding Sponsor. Because of this, the program can continue. We cannot stop now, there is much more to do and more funds are required. The only limitation we have currently is funding. Together we all play a role and we can do this!
This coming 2015/2016 school year will see Bullying Ends Here go to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Requests come from around the world including Japan, England, Ireland, Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand to name a few. It should also be noted that I do all of this on my own time using vacation time or regular days off. My work as a Police Officer is kept separate as best as possible. This is how passionate I am on this topic. I made a promise to Jamie’s family that I will keep their son’s memory alive and that his passing would not be in vain. I know that Jamie would be very proud of the work we have been able to accomplish together.
I am proud of the relationship that DLC and Bullying Ends Here have and I look forward to keeping you updated on the journey that we are on together. We are not only changing lives, but SAVING them!