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It wasn’t anywhere near the COLDEST night of the year – quite mild for February actually – but the event bearing the name “Coldest Night of the Year’ (CNOY) was held last Saturday across Canada. The Ottawa Mission’s CNOY walk started at Ottawa City Hall and made its way through downtown, and it was certainly a memorable evening for all involved.

Together we walked to show our support for people who are homeless during a time of year when getting around on foot is not always easy. As well as the physical experience, the walk also raised essential funds to support life-changing programs at The Mission – in total, close to $52,000 was raised!

Jill walked the two kilometer route with her two school age children, the second time her family has taken part. Along with enjoying the walk, Jill says it’s an opportunity to talk to her kids about homelessness and how they can have an impact on helping people, even at a young age. Another group of youngsters that took part were there as part of a birthday celebration! Meghan was celebrating her 11th birthday and decided to form a team – the “Power Pups” – and bring her friends, along with her mom and dad, to the event. Meghan said she liked the idea of doing something different for her birthday that helped raise funds for and awareness about people in need.

It is thanks to people like Meghan and Jill – and all the other walkers, volunteers, generous donors and sponsors – that help will be available all year round at The Ottawa Mission. It’s inspiring to see people come together to make a difference in our community. On behalf of everyone who will benefit from the proceeds of the Coldest Night of the Year walk, thank you.