More than $111,000 was raised at the Coldest Night of the Year walk in Nanaimo on Feb. 25, according to organizers. (Submitted photo)

More than $111,000 was raised at the Coldest Night of the Year walk in Nanaimo on Feb. 25, according to organizers. (Submitted photo)

Coldest Night of the Year walk breaks fundraising records in Nanaimo and Oceanside

Feb. 25 event in Nanaimo raised $111,500 for Island Crisis Care Society programs

Despite the snow and cold experienced in Nanaimo and Parksville last weekend, Coldest Night of the Year walk broke fundraising records, say organizers.

The walk, benefiting Island Crisis Care Society programming in both Nanaimo and Oceanside, shattered “all previous records in both communities,” stated a press release, with the current tally in Nanaimo at $111,500 and $85,000 for Oceanside, which is 170 per cent of last year’s total.

Money raised will be used to assist people experiencing homelessness, the press release noted. Initiatives supported in Nanaimo include Project Rise, offering training and work experience to clients, as well as the Lifeskills for Community Connection project. Money raised in Parksville-Qualicum Beach will go to local programming, including Oceanside Outreach offering assistance to people needing “check-ins and support to maintain housing” and for programming at Orca Place and Hirst House.

Organizers were pleased with turnout at both events.

“Our community recognized the overwhelming issue of homelessness and got behind the initiative more than ever this year,” said Sara Schneider, Oceanside event coordinator, in the press release.

Elspeth Erickson, Nanaimo event director, said Coldest Night of the Year offers people the opportunity to mitigate the effects of homelesseness.

“The issue of homelessness is very real in our community and it can sometimes seem overwhelming,” Erickson said in the press release. “People want to make a difference, but don’t know how to do it. Participating in CNOY is the chance for … people like you and me to step up and do something small and tangible which can contribute to positive change.”

Island Crisis Care Society has organized walk events in Nanaimo for the last 12 years, the press release stated, and for the last nine in Oceanside. The society currently operates 13 programs across eight sites, addressing the needs of up to 250 individuals daily.

People can donate until the end of March and can do so at www.cnoy.org/nanaimo or www.cnoy.org/oceanside.

RELATED: CNOY 2023 walk helps those experiencing homelessness



karl.yu@nanaimobulletin.com

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