He's at it again! Whitehorse man walking 500 km to raise money for anti-poverty group

·2 min read
Patrick Jackson and his travel companion Butters are walking from Dawson City to Whitehorse to raise money for the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and its Whitehorse Connects program. He left Dawson last Sunday and plans to arrive in Whitehorse on Oct. 16. (Chris MacIntyre/CBC - image credit)
Patrick Jackson and his travel companion Butters are walking from Dawson City to Whitehorse to raise money for the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and its Whitehorse Connects program. He left Dawson last Sunday and plans to arrive in Whitehorse on Oct. 16. (Chris MacIntyre/CBC - image credit)

It's the perfect fall day in Dawson City and a perfect day for a walk according to Patrick Jackson.

"It's my way of getting in shape," Jackson said. "You get a totally different perspective. You know, I've been up and down this highway hundreds of times over the years and when you're walking it, it's kind of weird because the perspective changes so much."

But this isn't just a normal stroll along the highway.

Jackson is walking over 500 kilometres from Dawson City to Whitehorse to raise money for the Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition and its Whitehorse Connects program.

Whitehorse Connects is an opportunity for those who are homeless, living in poverty or among the working poor to come together on a given day for a range of health and human services they may not otherwise access including haircuts, foot care, immunization, access to Internet and nursing care.

"I grew up poor," Jackson explains. "We didn't have very much growing up. I'll never forget that and it's really affected who I am and what I do so I can certainly relate."

Jackson isn't alone on his journey. He's being accompanied by Butters — an Australian Shepard lent to him by a coworker.

Chris MacIntyre/CBC
Chris MacIntyre/CBC

"A coworker at work thought her dog needed some more exercise everyday so she volunteered to lend me Butters," he explained. "So far she's been a champion. She's a really good dog."

Jackson hopes to raise close to $25,000 for the coalition. He said as of day three, he's already raised close to $5,000.

"There's lots of people who are struggling to make ends meet, inflation in prices and all sorts of changes to how we sort of navigate day to day, so that's part of the inspiration," Jackson said.

This is not the first long walk for Jackson.

Last year he walked 2,015.2 kilometres from the Dempster Corner outside of Dawson City to the Arctic Circle, raising around $14,000 for the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.

People can follow his journey and support his cause at the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition website.

"For me personally, if you're passing by, a couple toots of your horn makes the next few steps easier because I realize people are supporting what I'm doing," Jackson said.

"Food and water and things, I'm in good shape so no need for stuff like that unless I flag you down or something."