The Coldest Night of the Year hits home for Linda Price.
Price is one of the organizers of the Feb. 23 five or 10-kilometre walk that will raise funds for a new sprinkler system at the Upper Room Mission.
“There is a term used for people who actually aren’t living outside but staying here and there, and that is called couch surfing, and that is what I was doing,” said Price.
“Through most of my adult life, I had struggled with one addiction or another at different times in my life. My last situation was due to really bad choices in my life which led to a roller coaster ride with addictions. At one point I remember telling a friend that, ‘I was in the fight of my life.’”
Price eventually overcame her addictions and entered the Upper Room Mission as a volunteer. She was then hired as kitchen supervisor.
“The love that is prevalent when you come into the Upper Room Mission helps get me through the days,” she said.
“We see people who are lost and hurting every day. We see those who are stuck in addictions or trying to get out of addictions, mental illnesses, those who just can’t make the food stretch until the next pay day or those who just need friendship.”
Price’s team for the Coldest Night of the Year will walk to remember those who have been lost to the street or addictions.
Teams and individuals can register for the walk at coldestnightoftheyear.org. Each adult member of a team is encouraged to raise $150 or there is a $25 registration fee.
Registration will start at 4 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Upper Room Mission, and the walk begins at 5 p.m. The half-way mark for the five-kilometre walk will be Vernon Alliance Church on 43rd Avenue.
Both the five and 10-kilometre walks will end at the mission, where there will be food and activities.
For more information, contact Price or Lisa Froom at 250-549-1231.
While funds for the sprinkler system are important, Price hopes the event creates public awareness.
“The Upper Room Mission is more than what meets the eye from the street,” she said.
“It goes much deeper. People are nourished mind, body and soul. They are loved and cared for the best that we can under the circumstances.”