Deltans once again braved the cold and walked the streets of North Delta to raise awareness and money for the homeless and hungry.
Roughly a hundred people came out on Saturday night (Feb. 23) for Delta’s second annual Coldest Night of the Year walk, including Mayor George Harvie, Coun. Dylan Kruger and MLAs Ravi Kahlon and Ian Paton. The aim of the walk was to experience what this recent February cold snap has been like for homeless people. Participants had the choice to either walk 2.5 kilometres, five kilometres or 10 kilometres.
According to Delta’s CNOY page, $17,520 has been raised so far, with a total goal of $45,000. Lorraine Yates, director of Deltassist, told the Reporter she won’t know how much money was collected until the end of March, when all the donations will have come in and money transactions have gone through.
However, she said, so far the donations are on track to meet last year’s total of $23,000, a lot of which are coming from the fundraising websites, as well as cash donations and submitted cheques. Those participants who did not set up an online fundraiser through the CNOY Delta website had the option to pay $40 to take part in the walk.
“A lot of people register the day of, as well,” Yates said. “So we found that from the day of the walk to when [we] actually do the final tally, quite often it goes up $5,000 to $6,000.”
The national headquarters of CNOY collects the money and redistributes it after recovering administrative costs, including all the marketing material necessary for the Canada-wide campaign.
Yates said last year Deltassist got about $17,000 back and used it to build a community garden in its parking lot. With this year’s donations, the organization will plant produce for the community and provide horticulture therapy for seniors and school outreach groups.
“We’re working in partnership with Earthwise [Society] to have the garden built,” said Yates. “We will also use the money to support our seniors’ programs and Better At Home.”
According to the Deltassist website, Better At Home helps Delta seniors with light housekeeping, basic home repair, yard work and rides to medical appointments.
“All the [services] …are to help seniors maintain their independence and stay at home as long as possible,” Yates explained.
Elda Erickson, district lead for Starbucks, runs the coffee shop on Scott Road and Nordel Way. She said it was her first time taking part in the walk, and that Starbucks got involved in the initiative nationally. Besides supplying the coffee and hot chocolate for walkers to warm up with at the half-way point of the five-kilometre route, she said Starbucks employees raised some $875 for CNOY, with four taking part in the walk.
“A lot of the people that are involved in this are my regular customers, so I will definitely be back,” Erickson said.