On Feb. 22, tens of thousands of people across Canada will gather to walk to help raise money and awareness about the issue of homelessness.
For five years, Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) and Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society have been partnering to raise much-needed funds to support the programs they offer to those who are struggling through poverty and homelessness here in our community. The event has continued to grow, year after year, and this year, they are hoping to raise $100,000.
“We absolutely love this event!” said Heather Ney, executive director for CVTS. “The event brings together people of all ages and abilities, from all walks of life, and no matter what the weather, everyone has fun. You can really feel the community spirit.”
Money raised at this annual fundraiser is shared between the two agencies and stays right here in the Comox Valley. Last year, more than 400 people came out to walk and helped raise over $96,000.
The Comox Valley is not immune to the issue of homelessness, and the need for resources continues to grow. Homelessness outreach support workers at both CVTS and Dawn to Dawn see hundreds of people over the course of any given year, supporting individuals who are homeless or precariously housed to access safe, secure housing. At Dawn to Dawn, money raised from CNOY has helped house more than 50 women, men and children each year over the past four years. At CVTS, that number is triple. Sadly, the number of seniors becoming homeless or precariously housed is on the rise in our community, a trend that all outreach support workers are seeing, and it is largely due to the lack of affordable housing in the community.
CNOY event organizer, Michele Vanderwoude, is hoping to encourage more people to sign up to help them reach their 2020 fundraising goal.
“We need help! We need more team captains, more walkers, more corporate challenges and more champions to help us fundraise.”
Sue Finneron, the new chair of Dawn to Dawn, is hoping to see Comox Valley auto dealers represented at the event.
“I’m calling on all dealerships to sponsor a team in a corporate challenge! It’s a great team-building exercise, where people can dress up in wacky costumes or wear their corporate gear and show the community that they support the work we are doing and the people who need it.”
The event kicks off at 5 p.m. at St. George’s Church on the corner of 6th Street and Fitzgerald in Courtenay, and the walk starts at 5:15 p.m. There will be a Kidz Corner, warm beverages, rest stop treats for all walkers, and a warm bowl of chili waiting for everyone when they finish the walk. To sign up a team, walk, or donate, go to www.cnoy.org/location/comoxvalley
For more information, call Michele at 250 897-0511, ext. 107 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.