Participants of the Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk will be hitting the streets of Campbell River in support of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society on February 25.
Coldest Night of the Year is a National Event that raises funds across Canada for people that are experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness. Every night 33,000 Canadians have nowhere to call home. They may be youth, seniors or children who are living in their vehicles, in shelters and on the streets.
For the sixth year CNOY will be hosted locally by the Transition Society which provides services to women and their children who have been impacted by barriers such as domestic violence.
Many women who access their services are seniors like Mary. Three years ago, Mary faced isolation, coercive control and violence at the hands of her abuser. S
he recalls the day she left “A cab pulled up and took me to the safe house.” She describes the feeling of arriving at the Ann Elmore Transition House “I couldn’t believe I had a safe place. I had a door to lock. I had my own privacy. I could look at my mail.”
Today she is living a life free from domestic abuse and encourages others by saying that “if I knew what life was like on the other side I wouldn’t have walked away, I would have run as fast as I could.”
Today “it’s a dream come true”.
Mary is not alone.
“Almost 60 per cent of women accessing services at the Women’s Center are over 50 years old and are living in poverty, are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” says Lori Hirst, Executive Director for the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society. “We continually strive to meet the needs that exist in our community. There are a number of programs and services with no funding attached which is why we rely greatly on fundraisers such as CNOY.”
When participants register to walk and raise funds, they will have the opportunity to gather together at Rose Harbour before setting out to walk together at the same time as thousands of others in over 140 locations across Canada. Walkers who can’t make the event are encouraged to pick up their Coldest Night of the Year tuque in advance, and walk in the location of their choice. Whichever option is chosen, the spirit of the walk remains – to enjoy a fun, family friendly walk.
Individuals can create a team, walk individually, or sign up to fundraise. You can also donate directly to the house team: Transition Society Angels.
“This is a fun event with an opportunity to create a positive impact on our community,” said Hirst.
Participants who would like to walk together on Feb. 25 can meet at the Rose Harbour parking lot, at 1116 Dogwood Street, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. with the walk scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. Parking will be available at nearby McElhanney Engineers and Land Surveyors. Parking attendants will be on site to ensure the safety of everyone.
The society is looking forward to raising their goal of $50,000 with support from the community. To sign up, donate or volunteer go to cnoy.org.
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