This will be my fifth year leading a team of wonderful human beings to raise money for the homeless, hungry and hurting in our community. The charity may have changed, but the sentiment is still the same. (That is me in the fuzzy blue monster hat in the video above.)
On February 24th, 2018 we will walk 10 km to raise much needed funds for Bissell Centre, right here in Edmonton. Out of all of the charities that help the less fortunate, Bissell is my favourite. It is all about inclusiveness. When a person is made to feel like they don’t belong, or forced to participate in religious practices that are not their own, we cannot expect them to want to embrace a new life, or have hope for a brighter future.
Why “Halloweenies for Hope”?
The original name has carried on all these years… I love the horror genre and most of my closest friends are Halloween addicts. We love to dress up in costume and entertain (or scare) the masses. Underneath all of those scary personas lay hearts of pure gold. We want to give back to the community, we want to give hope for a better tomorrow.
Bissell Centre philosophy is one of hope for human potential and social justice; of trust in the power of community through relationships and inclusiveness; and of resourcefulness with strength and capacity. They respect that people can make their own choices and that they take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
This is the one big fundraising event that I do every year. The rest of the year I am volunteering my time, or picking up goods to donate to those that need them, or feeding people in front of Hope Mission… This one is important though; $200 can help 63 people. That is amazing my friends. If my team raises $2000, we can help Bissell Centre help 630 people!
Especially during the winter, when you are homeless, you need to keep moving to stay warm. A good pair of shoes is one of the most important clothing items. They wear out quickly when you are walking 10 km or more per day.
“Coldest Night of the Year” has the option to walk 2 km, 5 km, or 10 km. I have always chosen the 10 km option because I want to be reminded why I am walking and how many kilometers these people need to cover in a single day. How exhausting it must be to be stiff and cold and tired all the time. Then add hungry on top of all of that.
We are fortunate enough to have a warm place to sleep at night that is safe, where we don’t have to be on guard all the time to watch our meager possessions. We have warm running water so we can take regular baths and showers. We don’t have to think about where our next meal is coming from. Everyone should have access to all of these basic needs. No one should have to go hungry. Ever.
How can you help?
If you have taken time to read this far, thank you very much. Your support means the world to myself and my team. Watch on my social media channels for video clips and photo updates on walk day!