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Will you walk the walk on Feb. 20th?
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By Connie M. Spuria

Weekdays around 4:30 pm I've become accustomed to wafts of dinner aroma floating down the hallway to where I sit. It could be steamed vegetables, pork chops or pasta with meat sauce. It often makes me hungry and always smells delicious. I don't work in a home office or in a restaurant as you might suspect. As Communications Manager for Mission Services of London, my office is situated in the building that houses the Men’s Mission on York Street.

During the ten seconds that it takes me to walk from my office through the dining room on my way out at the end of day, the scene is the same relatively – men having a meal at a table either in pairs or alone. Sometimes I look up and smile. Mainly I try to be quick and quiet without disruption. My first thought is that their reasons for being there are not for me to know. My second thought is that everyone deserves to eat with dignity.

For me, this daily walk-through at a specific moment in time is symbolic of an annual, national walk – the Coldest Night of the Year. For the fifth year running, Mission Services of London is the local event host, which occurs in more than 90 locations. For purposes of awareness and fundraising, it brings together Canadians from coast to coast on the same day in support of those who are hungry, hurting and homeless. There’s no presumption that personal struggles happen in winter only. In our country however, snow, freezing rain, ice and less daylight compound circumstances that are challenging to begin with for individuals and families seeking assistance.

We encourage all Londoners to “walk the walk” with us on February 20th knowing that together we can make a difference. Starting and ending at Catholic Central High School, walk teams complete a non-competitive route of 2km, 5km or 10km in a downtown area. Proceeds from pledges help support clients at our five branches: Community Mental health programs, The Mission Store, Quintin Warner House addiction treatment, Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter and the Men’s Mission & Rehabilitation Centre. Clients’ specific needs vary, yet the common thread is that the people we serve are in need of connection and support. It’s in our hands as a community. We can walk along in life without a second thought. Or we can walk in solidarity on Feb. 20th.

Watch this brief video on the Coldest Night of the Year walk

Click HERE to join or support the Christian Life in London team.

Click HERE to Start your own team you can register/Info:

The details:
When: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Check-in 4:00pm. Starts at 5:00pm.
Where: Catholic Central High School, 450 Dundas Street, London.
Post Walk: Family friendly entertainment, refreshments and chili at the school.