Warm-hearted participants getting ready to brave the Coldest Night of the Year

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison February 24, 2018 09:11

By Laurie Harrison

Volunteers at the Coldest Night of the Year walk 2017 for The Downtown Mission.
Photo by Laurie Harrison.

Many Canadians opt to stay inside when the weather is cold, but not all Canadians are that lucky.

According to homelesshub.ca, 35,000 Canadians were homeless on a given night in 2016 and at least 235,000 experience homelessness in a year.

Windsor is joining citizens across Canada to put an end to homelessness. Saturday, Feb. 24, local community members will come together to walk in unity with cities from all over Canada in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk.

In Windsor-Essex, participants will be walking for the fifth year in a row for The Downtown Mission of Windsor. More than 180 walkers have signed up to take part in a 2-km, 5-km or 10-km walk.

Participants have already reached 71 per cent of the $40,000 goal.

“We are at $28,000 from just online pledges. That does not include cash or cheque donations that we receive the day of. We are already ahead from last year,” said Afshin Ali, development officer for The Downtown Mission.

“We will use the money to support our many programs, mission and projects.”

The Mission’s programs and services are open to anyone who comes through the doors in need of assistance. Any person who lacks basic necessities, whether it be food, clothing or shelter, will find help at the Downtown Mission.

Participants in the Coldest Night of the Year walk will gather at the Downtown Mission. Some will see for the first time the inside of the Mission and the generosity of the community as they see the donations that have been accumulated and the programs that are offered through community support.

Registration will take place at 4 p.m. when the remainder of the event pledges will be handed in, and last minute participants can register. Opening ceremonies start at 5 p.m.

The walk routes will be marked along the streets of the downtown core by volunteers pointing hundreds of participants in the direction of their desired walk distance.

Participants in the Coldest Night of the Year walk 2017 for The Downtown Mission.
Photo by Laurie Harrison.

The Downtown Mission invites participants to stay after their walk is completed to share a warm light meal alongside those who are hungry, homeless and hurting.

The Downtown Mission depends on donations and support from the communities and businesses of Windsor and Essex County. In return for the generous contributions, they offer the programs and services at no cost to anyone who comes to the Mission in need of help.

The Downtown Mission is more than just a homeless shelter. It provides food, clothing, warmth, opportunities through social enterprise programs and work experience to get their patrons off the streets and into the workforce.

There are many ways to support the Downtown Mission, including giving donations of food, clothing and money, organizing a food drive, volunteering and sharing their social media posts regarding needs and fundraising efforts.

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison February 24, 2018 09:11

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