The Coldest Night Of The Year is returning to Cochrane after a very successful 2021. The national fundraising campaign aims to help communities assist the hungry, homeless, and hurting. Locally, the event is coordinated by the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane of Area.
Chairra Nicolle, The Executive Director for Helping Hands Society says Cochranites can look forward to walking together this year to help the community. “This year, we are hosting an in-person event, last year was virtual. There's also the opportunity to do virtual walks here as well, to ensure everyone feels comfortable and can join in."
“We're going to walk five kilometres from Riverfront Park to the Ranche Park and back to appreciate what someone facing homelessness would face on a daily basis being out in the cold and struggling with trying to keep warm. At the end of that, we'll be having some coffee, chili and be around the fire pit at Riverfront Park. Also, it just gives us a sense of what those individuals face on a daily basis.”
Nicolle says that many Cochranites are surprised to hear of people in the community who are homeless. “Not many people see homelessness in our community, but it is a regular occurrence in Cochrane. We do have individuals in the communities who face homelessness, however; it’s typically invisible .”
“We want to raise awareness. I just let people know that we do have community members that are facing homelessness and hunger and that we can support them through this program.”
As a special thank you to participants who raise at least $150 (or $75 for kids), walkers receive a limited edition toque that has a special connection to Cochrane. “We think that the toque logo resembles our community. There's a city line with mountains in the background.”
“We are also still looking for sponsors on different sponsor levels. Any businesses out there that would like to sponsor the event are more than welcome to get in contact with us and we can provide them with additional information.”