This year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser will take place remotely on Feb. 20. In keeping with current provincial health orders, participants can complete a 2-5 kilometre walk with those in their immediate household. (The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope/Facebook)

This year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser will take place remotely on Feb. 20. In keeping with current provincial health orders, participants can complete a 2-5 kilometre walk with those in their immediate household. (The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope/Facebook)

Coldest Night of the Year raises money to support Salvation Army Gateway of Hope

Remote event to be held Feb. 20

The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope is still $22,000 short from reaching its goal ahead of this year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser.

The annual charity event is a family-friendly walk to raise money for organizations serving people experiencing “homelessness, hurt, and hunger.”

Gateway of Hope provides services such as emergency shelter, 110,000 meals annually, transitional housing and family services, according to the organization.

And to support these services this year’s fundraising event will take place remotely on Feb. 20, where people can participate in the walk with those in their immediate household, as the current provincial health orders state.

Currently, there are 11 teams registered for a total of 51 walkers.

One of those teams include the Langley Community Action Table (CAT).

“We’ve been involved in a lot of projects that are addressing specifically the overdose crisis, but also broader than that, taking into consideration vulnerable groups in our communities like the homeless population,” said Daniel Synder, project coordinator with the Langley CAT for overdose response.

But he wants to make it clear the two don’t go hand-in hand.

“I don’t want to correlate substance use, or, in particular, addiction with homelessness, as being tied together exclusively… and while we want to support people that are experiencing homelessness in the community, it’s not always driven by substance use or addiction.”

READ MORE: B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

The pandemic has exacerbated issues around homelessness and addiction as people are struggling financially and find themselves isolated and disconnected, says Synder.

He underscores the importance of being “persistent and diligent” with talking about it.

“And the other thing that talking about it does is, it reduces the stigma that is often tied to homelessness, or people that look a certain way, or people that are struggling with addictions, particularly with certain substances, where we kind of write them off or discredit them in the eyes of the rest of society,” Synder notes.

READ MORE: ‘Raising the alarm:’ Priority vaccines urged for homeless population, shelter staff

“I overcame addiction, and it is possible, I want people to know that.”

The local CAT team is currently made up of 11 members and has raised $4,200.

“People are able to sign up if they’d like to join our team and try to raise funds for the Langley Community Action Team, towards the Gateway of Hope and that would be really great. Otherwise, people can just donate to the team as well,” said team captain Dana Dmytro.

For more information about the fundraiser or to donate visit cnoy.org/location/langley.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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