Vernon Mission bundles up for Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Vernon Mission bundles up for Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Coldest Night of the Year walk looks to give a unique perspective on sleeping rough

As the snow continues to fall and winds continue to howl, the support for Vernon’s street-entrenched population from residents has increased, the Upper Room Mission says.

To further that dialogue and raise funds for a Canada-wide initiative, the Upper Room Mission is participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk Saturday, Feb. 23.

“The recent cold snap we’ve seen here through the month of February has created this increased outpouring of support for guests of the Mission,” said Josh Winquist with Upper Room Mission.

This two- or five-kilometre walk, beginning and ending at St. James School, seeks to provide a better understanding of what those who are sleeping rough deal with on a daily basis.

“It’s important to realize that this is happening across the country, it’s not just a Vernon initiative,” said Winquist, noting the more than 100 cities expected to participate.

Related: Teams needed for Coldest Night of the Year

Related: Vernon walkers brave the cold in support of those in need

Winquist said that the Upper Room Mission has been participating in the walk for more than half a decade. A portion of the proceeds raise funds for Mission programming. Registration is $25 and begins at 4 p.m. Participants can also choose to waive that fee and raise $150 or $75 for youth aged 11-17. The opening ceremonies begin at 5 p.m. before the walk at 5:15 p.m. After the walk, a celebratory meal will be held at the Mission.

“We hope to see as many people out at the event as possible. This is a bit of an opportunity to turn around and show our gratitude,” Winquist said.

“We know that the capacity for caring is great in Vernon.”

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