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Imagine being out in the cold all night by yourself.
For many – this is a reality. Homelessness is at an all-time high in Vancouver, but luckily there’s a way that you can help to mitigate the problem.
By joining forces with hundreds of others at First United’s Coldest Night of the Year walk on February 25, you’ll be able to help raise much needed funds to benefit those struggling with homelessness.
The event is taking place at 118 different locations throughout Canada on February 25 and here in Vancouver there’s two, five and 10 km routes available for walkers that pass through the Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, and Yaletown so you’re sure to find a walk that suits your pace. Vancouver’s First United walking route has been named the best walk nationwide.
“Caring can be a lonely business, and the task at hand can seem overwhelming. The Coldest Night is a chance for all of us to realize that we are not alone! On February 25 we can be together and celebrate each other, while at the same time honouring the struggles of the citizens who are living without homes,” says Natalie Lanoville, manager of resource development.
The walk aims to make life a little easier for people experiencing homelessness – last year it raised more than $42,000 for programs to benefit people struggling with homelessness in 2016. This year, First United is aiming to raise $50,000 with 250 walkers and 40 teams.
“Studies have shown that the majority of Vancouver residents care deeply about housing security and homelessness, and want to make a difference but don’t know how. What I love about The Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk is that anyone can participate, and every walker, every donor, every volunteer helps,” says executive director, The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne.
All proceeds raised will provide meals, storage, advocacy and hygiene supports to vulnerable homeless adults who have difficulty accessing services. People struggling with homelessness and supporters walk together and then gather afterwards to share a modest meal.
“One of the reasons we are so enthusiastic about this walk is that it’s a chance to show that overcoming homelessness is a community effort. First United has been a part of the Downtown Eastside for over 125 years, and we know firsthand the powerful impacts of our community coming together,” says Corinne Dahlo, Event Director.
There are still plenty of spots for walkers and volunteers along with sponsorship, and team opportunities available for businesses. Anyone wishing to support the event or get involved can call event director Corinne Dahlo at 604-209-5774 or email [email protected].
Coldest Night of the Year
When: February 25, 4 pm
Where: Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, and Yaletown
Price: $25 registration fee, register online
Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of the Coldest Night of the Year