An annual fundraiser to collect money to help the city’s needy was held on Saturday (Feb. 20) in a different setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the past nine years, the Coldest Night of Year has seen a large number of Kamloopsians meetings downtown at The Mustard Seed Kamloops and setting out on a walk to raise awareness of issues facing the city’s marginalized, while raising money to help those needing help.
This year, the 10th anniversary of the even, due to pandemic-related physical-distancing and gathering restrictions, supporters chose their own routes on their own time and within their cohort.
“Internally, we set goals and targets for this fundraiser, but we didn’t know the response we would get from the community, especially during a global pandemic. But to see all our goals met and later surpassed, is a testament to the spirit and generosity that Kamloops possesses,” said Kelly Thomson, managing director of The Mustard Seed Kamloops. “We can’t thank our community, our supporters and our sponsors enough for their incredible help in this drive.”
The goal this year was to raise $20,000. As of Feb. 20, almost $26,000 had been collected by the 87 participants.
A large portion of the money raised will be used to purchase 17 new mattresses and matching box springs from the Mattress King for the men living in the Supportive Living Program in The Mustard Seed’s Outreach Centre.
The rest of the proceeds will be used locally for other Mustard Seed programs and initiatives to help those experiencing homelessness and poverty.
“The importance of a good night’s sleep is incredibly valuable. These mattresses will greatly impact the lives of our men living upstairs,” Thomson said. “They will all get a much improved night’s sleep, which will give them the energy and the strength to work through their next day’s activities.”
The remaining funds raised from the Coldest Night of the Year will go to local programs and initiatives with The Mustard Seed Kamloops.
Donations are still being accepted until the end of the month here.
The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization formed in 1984 that operates in six cities across B.C. and Alberta.
Sponsors of the event included Motion Church, Pizza Now, H&R Block, Interior Savings, Kamloops Blazers and K97.5 FM.