Community walks to support people who need help

Walkers from across the community came together Saturday night of the annual Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk to support the Open Arms Mission in Welland.

The community came together in Welland Saturday Feb. 24/2018 to participate in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk to help the homeless, the hungry, people who need help.

“Last year we raised $30,000,” said Leslie Bellingham of Open Arms Mission, the director for the event to all the walkers just as the walk was about to start. “At this time we have $33,561.”

“Welland is such a generous and wonderful community,” she said.

The goal for this year’s walk is $45,000.

“We always have more money come in on the day of the walk or shortly after,” Bellingham said. “I think we are going to be pretty close.”

She explains that people will show up with cash that hasn’t been entered into the system and there are online donors over the next few days after the walk.

“Last year we had $10,000 just show up on the day of the walk,” she said.

“All of our teams have been amazing,” she said. “We have 24 teams, 150 walkers and 54 volunteers.”

The funds raised go towards programming at Open Arms Mission that helps support people that are in need, some need help for food, some need help to pay bills during the winter months, some people are homeless. Open Arms Mission has a food bank and prepares meals for the homeless as well as other programs that help give people the help that they need to support themselves.

“We are feeling the love from the community,” Bellingham said. “We are feeling the support of the community, we are seeing a lot of families and friends here, it feels like everyone in the whole city is behind us.”

During opening ceremonies before the walk, Welland Mayor Frank Campion commented to the crowd: “This is so important to the community. It’s important that we come together as a community to help the people who need help.”

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs also participated in the walk. Open Arms Mission also helps families in need in Wainfleet.

“I am floored to see so many here who just want to help out,” Mayor Jeffs said. “We are walking tonight and getting a tiny glimpse of what some people in the community suffer.”

The Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser is an event that happens all across Canada. Communities come together to support the hungry, homeless and hurting individuals and families across Canada.

Support for Open Arms Mission is ongoing. To learn more about it and how to donate, visit the Open Arms Mission website: http://www.openarmsmissionwelland.com/ . To donate directly to the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser to support Open Arms Mission go to the fundraising website: https://cnoy.org/location/welland .

 

 


 

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