Every winter night, people living on Chilliwack streets look for places to shelter against the elements.
It was with that in mind that walkers headed out in support of the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser on Saturday. All of the money raised by the walking teams involved has been directed to Ann Davis Transition Society (ADTS), and executive director Patti MacAhonic says it was the organization’s most successful fundraiser to date.
In all, the walkers (who donned yellow and blue toques) raised a whopping $58,778.
That will all help ADTS with its renovations of their Thrift Shop to a newly purposed office, which will help them with their intake program.
Last year, ADTS provided bed stays for 6,639 women and 1,435 children but had to turn away 200 women and 98 children who were in need, as they had no room and the women and children had no place to go.
There are Coldest Night of the Year walks held all over Canada, raising money for charities that help people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger.
Normally, the walkers would walk en masse to bring awareness to the endeavor. However, COVID-19 concerns meant that the walkers broke up into smaller groups and walked different times throughout the day. There were 38 teams in total.
The team Chilly Chilly Chilly Wack Wack Wack raised $3,580 toward the total, and broke their own team up throughout the day to further distance themselves. Team member Bradley Gionet reflected on the reason for joining the walk.
“No matter what life’s circumstances have caused people to live life unhoused, they deserve empathy. They deserve dignity, respect, and a roof over their heads,” he said. “We are not changing the world tonight, but maybe, just maybe, we are changing the world for a handful of folks who wouldn’t have had a chance otherwise.”
Watch for an update with more photos and information.
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