NANAIMO — An essential annual fundraiser is increasing the fundraising goal to help provide as many services and programs as possible for those experiencing homelessness.
The Coldest Night of the Year event on Feb. 23 hopes to raise $40,000 in both Nanaimo and Parksville for the Island Crisis Care Society.
More than 100 people fundraise for the event and then walk 10, five or two kilometres during what's statistically the coldest night of the year across Canada. It's an effort to experience what it's like to live on the streets in winter.
“It gives people a moment to think about others in our community who don't have homes,” Corrie Corfield with the Society told NanaimoNewsNOW. “A lot of times people think about their own homes and how grateful they are and yet how unfortunate other people are.”
Once the walk is finished, everyone will gather for a hot meal similar to what's served in soup kitchens.
“We don't often take the time to come together as a community and do something meaningful for others,” Corfield said. “People really get a lot out of the event.”
Money raised will fund numerous Island Crisis Care Society programs.
Corfield said money raised in Parksville will help their outreach programs throughout the Oceanside area, which finds and secures rental market housing for those in need.
Funds raised in Nanaimo will go towards the Samaritan House, which is the only women's shelter north of the Malahat, as well as other stabilizing and transitional housing.
Last year the event raised $65,000 across the two areas.
Nearly $17,000 is already raised from the Nanaimo event and Corfield said they're optimistic this year will reach or exceed their expectations.
Anyone interested in taking part can sign themselves or a team up online here.
On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit
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