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Will you walk on Saturday, February 25th?
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By Connie Spuria, Missions Services Communications / PR Manager


As mid-winter sets in, it’s built-in to our Canadian psyche to speculate how long it will last and how bad it will get. For those of us who have multiple coats, sturdy boots, heat in our homes and food on our tables, we know we’ll get by. For others who have circumstances in their lives preventing them from the basics, they may not be so sure from day to day.

Londoners like you can show support by walking outside on February 25th for those who struggle. A winter walk may not be high on your priority list (or on your list at all), however, past walkers enjoyed this experience. It’s a chance to connect with friends and family for some exercise. Participants start and end the walk at Catholic Central High School, coming back to a warm bowl of tasty chili. In addition, proceeds raised in London go towards providing clients with safe shelter, nutritious meals, hot showers, counselling and more through the five branches of Mission Services of London.

I speak from the heart when I tell you this story of why it matters. I was blessed to have my “communications” office at a client site for over two years rather than in our administration building. I say blessed because it provided me with a view to reality, since I had not been around an emergency shelter previously.

Given that people come to a shelter in times of crisis, it was rare to see someone in complete distress. There is one image, though, I will never forget – a man standing outside on the walkway with bare feet, snow bank beside him in January. He went inside, and, thanks to the support of the community, we were able to provide socks, other clothing, a warm meal and a bed for the night.

What if it had been me or a loved one? It is a relief knowing that we have services to help those who have nowhere to go or next to nothing. Coldest Night of the Year is a national, winter walk and fundraiser that challenges all of us to stand on our feet, walk forward, and help make a difference in someone’s life.

Will you walk on February 25th and help reach a fundraising goal of $60,000 to benefit those in need in our city? This is a non-competitive event about walking together – the team aspect reinforces this notion. Visit https://canada.cnoy.org/location/london or let us know if we can help you get registered by calling 519-433-2807 ext. 2109.

EVENT DAY DETAILS:
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Location: Catholic Central High School (CCH),
450 Dundas St., London

Times: Check-in 4:00 pm; walk starts 5:00 pm

Distances: 2.5 km, 5 km or 10 km - the latter two distances include a stop at our Community Mental Health Programs branch