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"It's Cold Out There"

We are just a few days away from joining 200 other charities from across the country for an annual “Coldest Night of the Year”(CNOY) walk. This is a national fundraising event for charities who serve people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. The event envisages that people will form teams, obtain pledges and walk for 2 or 5 km in celebration of having reached fundraising goals the teams set for themselves. There are very few, but OIM is one, where teams actually do walk, not once a year, but every night, whatever the weather. Our volunteer outreach teams provide basic essentials and comfort to our Street Friends where they “live”. This one national event perfectly aligns with what OIM has been doing for more than 35 years.

The money raised by our walk will help us meet the seemingly endless demand for those basic essentials we provide. Last year, 400 street outreach teams made more than 23,000 connections with Street Friends, up by 25 per cent over 2022. The wagons would start the nightly journey full; most nights they returned empty, sometimes earlier than anticipated because of the sheer numbers found to be in need before the end of the contemplated route.

Staff and volunteers working to bring this event to life are altering between excitement and worry about being able to deliver an experience that will suitably honour the more than 100 walkers, volunteers and sponsors who will come to The MET on Saturday for the walk. I ask for your prayer that everyone involved with making our second CNOY walk a successful one (we will meet and exceed our fundraising goal) will experience with joy our gratitude on behalf of our Street Friends who will be the beneficiaries of their sacrifices and thoughtfulness. I also ask for prayer that Saturday evening is not, in fact, our coldest night of the year …

~Margo Dewar, Managing Director

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