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‘Coldest Night of the Year’ walk CHIMO fundraiser

By Don Fennell

Published 11:32 PST, Mon January 13, 2020

It’s cold out there, which only raises the importance of The Coldest Night of the Year.

A family-friendly walk that raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting people in Richmond, the 2020 fundraiser—the fourth annual—is set for Feb. 22.

Starting at Gilmore Park United Church, 8060 No. 1 Rd., participants will walk together in the chill of the night while gaining a better understanding of being on the streets. They’ll also be raising funds to aid event organizer CHIMO (a community services agency) in providing much-needed support to members of the community.

The goal is to raise $50,000 and have at least 200 walkers donning the iconic Coldest Night of the Year toques.

Honoured to receive the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Award for Association of the Year, CHIMO provides services and support to those in need throughout the year. The not-for-profit organization provides diverse services of housing support for the most vulnerable people, transition housing, a homelessness prevention program, crisis lines, counselling programs, legal advocacy, newcomer assistance, and community engagement.

“Anyone on the street can come at any time, and we can also help with resources,” says Kathy Nakhleh, event director for CHIMO. “The tag line for CHIMO is taking people in need from crisis through to wellness, whatever that may look like—whether it’s through services we can provide or by connecting them with other community partners.”

Nakhleh says homelessness in Richmond may be less obvious than in many communities, but it’s still there. That includes young people couch surfing or people working but still living below the poverty line.

“There are a lot of people right on the cusp that need the resources and guidance from associations like ourselves,” she says.

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