White Rock and Surrey, B.C. (March 31, 2022) – Today marks the last day of the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) national walk campaign, an initiative that gets people out walking for a cause that matters to them in their local community. Among these fundraising efforts, SOURCES attracted 454 people to walk for their Homeless Prevention and Rent Bank services, which directly benefits those living in White Rock and South Surrey.
“This year, we successfully reached our goal, raising $201,407 from Coldest Night of the Year! Among the 165 locations that participated in this event, we ranked #5 in Canada for the most amount of dollars raised for our community,” says Megan Knight, CNOY Co-chair and SOURCES Foundation Board Member. “As we conclude our ninth year of CNOY, it is with great pride that I announce we have raised over $960,000 to-date. That’s nearly $1 million!”
Running an event during uncertain times with the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy feat. For a second year in a row, SOURCES has hosted the walk virtually. The agency has been tasked with pulling together a concerted outreach effort to get as many supporters onboard as possible without the same level of face-to-face interaction as pre-pandemic times. The response this year from the community was overwhelming as the agency experienced a 21% increase in walker participation.
One of CNOY teams that had an uptick in their walking group was the White Rock Baptist Church. “This was an easy way to support SOURCES and the great work they do in serving the needs of our community,” said Reverend Jennifer Friesen, White Rock Baptist Church. “We had 20 team members registered to fundraise, but since the walk was virtual, a number of other church members and their dogs walk with us just for fun! We had kids as young as six, all the way up to grandmas in their 80’s, walking together on a Saturday afternoon.”
In times of adversity, SOURCES have found that the needs on the streets have increased but people’s efforts to lend support have also risen.
“We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth but there are those who are suffering, particularly during this debilitating pandemic,” says Marc Burchell, CNOY Co-chair and SOURCES Society Board Member. “The way people have generously and enthusiastically rallied together to support SOURCES demonstrates that our community not only has beautiful scenery, but beautiful, caring hearts as well.”
This year, CNOY White Rock/South Surrey’s top walker was Srinivasan Rajagopal, raising $10,000. The top team was White Rock Pride Society, collecting $22,440 for SOURCES.
“It was a privilege to be involved with Coldest Night of the Year raising funds for those less fortunate. We came out of the gateway back in December and challenged other teams to catch us if you can,” says Ernie Klassen (he/him/his), President, White Rock Pride Society. “Let’s all work together to create a better world for all of us. We count ourselves blessed when we don’t need financial help and be grateful its out there, when we do need it.”
Other top teams include the Rotary Club of White Rock, raising $13,380, and the White Rock Baptist Church, raising $13,150.
The Coldest Night of the Year assists charities focused on individuals suffering from homelessness, hunger and hurt. Proceeds generated from this event will be used to support some of SOURCES’ most critical programs including its Housing and Advocacy Services (Homelessness Prevention Services and Rent Bank).
Abby Gemino, Event Planner