The Step Sisters is a team of four Thoroldites taking strides to help the homeless by participating in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser. Donations will support YWCA Niagara Region’s West Niagara Affordable Housing Program. This program provides the homeless with supportive transitional housing that assists individuals become self-sufficient within one to three years.
Thorold resident Gabrielle Doak, team leader, says she became passionate about helping the homeless while working at the YWCA.
“I met a lot of women who were seeking shelter, each with individual stories, hardships, and dreams for their future,”Doak explained.
Thoroldite Michelle Burns added that the negative impact of the Covid-19 related curfew on Quebec’s homeless population has motivated her to contribute to resources for the homeless in her own community.
Step Sisters team member Christina Carfagnini said she was eager for the opportunity to support some of the most vulnerable people during the pandemic and stay active while the gyms are closed.
These long time friends will raise money and experience a hint of the challenges faced by the homeless during the winter night by collecting pledges for completing daily two kilometer walks until February 20th. The Thorold group says the team experience has been a great way to stay motivated to go outside and do something for their own wellness as well as their community.
Growing up my family spent every Christmas volunteering to serve our community through the Spirit of Christmas program. It was instilled in us from a very early age that everyone deserves respect and equal opportunity.Jordan McnaughtonMccallum, Step Sisters fundraising team member
Michelle Burns added, “I enjoy walking, so why not walk for something that’s going to make a positive impact?”
The Coldest Night of the Year is a covid-safe, family-friendly walk to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger. Walk virtually or in-person on Feb. 20, 2021 – there’s a place for everyone!
Covid-related health risks and operational challenges won’t permit us to assemble in large groups in most locations this year. So instead, we will gather together safely, self-organizing individually or in smaller, covid-friendly teams as permitted.
I have a lot of friends who are involved in the community and are always promoting or partaking in community events. Its exciting to be able to raise awareness and simultaneously give back to my community while working along side my friends. Quarantine has been difficult for many of us, however this walk has reminded us of how fortunate we truly are to have a safe place to be able to lockdown in.Jordan McnaughtonMccallum
The campaign involves a Virtual Walk. Participants will self-organize individually or in team bubbles selecting their own safe walk route near home at a time convenient for them. While the event organizers encourage everyone to walk on their national event day of February 20, virtual fundraisers can select any day in February to walk if they wish.
There is no registration fee for individuals or groups to participate as a team. There is no registration fee. Everyone is welcome to come and support their local CNOY charity.
Follow the StepSisters Facebook page for updates on their fundraising journey. Please consider donating by clicking here. The StepSisters are grateful for everyone’s generosity, which warms their hearts during their coldest walks.