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It's Cold Out There. Will You Walk The Walk?
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By Kara James

By Kara James

"Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope. Winter alone reminds us of the human condition." These are the words of celebrated American journalist, Mignon McLaughlin. In Southwestern Ontario, those words speak volumes. Right now, we're experiencing a bit of a winter reprieve, but the bitter sting of that familiar northern wind darting out from the crevice of a building reminds us how harsh and bleak a cold winter's night can be. On any given night in London, 2000 people are without shelter, without comfort, without beds.

In 2011, a passionate group of 406 walkers took to the streets of Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo in an effort to step into the proverbial shoes of those struggling with homelessness. The first annual Coldest Night of the Year was born. A determined bunch made up of men, women and children became part of this national fundraising initiative and raised an astounding $110,000. These funds, gathered by tirelessly collecting pledges, were dispersed among local partnering charities.

In 2012, Mission Services of London decided to put London on the map. Joining 18 cities across Canada, from Salmon Arm to St. John, they took up the challenge, raising over $50,000 on The Coldest Night of the Year. With almost 200 walkers bundled up in mitts, scarves and signature blue Coldest Night of the Year toques, they not only talked the talk, they walked the walk. Through the downtown core they trudged until at last, a hot bowl of chili and a mug of cocoa waited for them back at the starting point: Trinity Lutheran Church.

This year, Mission Services of London is hoping to raise even more money and awareness which in turn will help those struggling in our city with homelessness and poverty. Registration for the Coldest Night of the Year 2013 has begun. Visit the Coldest Night of the Year website: and get involved. Create a team, join a team or pledge a team. Bundle up and walk with Mission Services of London on Saturday, February 23rd. It's cold out there!

For more information contact Irma Haggith-Fonseca, Donor Relations Coordinator at 519 433 2807 or by email: