Samaritan House Ministries has a goal of raising $20,000 through the upcoming Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser taking place Saturday, February 24th.

The event is facilitated by the Blue Sea Foundation, with the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) being one of Canada's Top 30 peer-to-peer events. Samaritan House Ministries has been working with Blue Sea to raise money for their Brandon food bank since 2014.  Everyone across Canada walks the 2 km or 5 km distance at the same time on February 24th!

"So, yes this is our tenth year with them," shares Samaritan House Executive Director, Barbara McNish. "And they raise money for local charities serving people who experience hurt, hunger and homelessness.  So Samaritan House is the charity that is chosen for Brandon, and we are supporting people who are struggling with homelessness, poverty; the vulnerable population who are hurt, hungry and homeless."

Samaritan House has two walking teams in this year's fundraiser; Barbara's own Frosty Belles and Beaus, and Sundogs headed up by Samaritan's foodbank coordinator, Marcia Wiebe.  Thus far these are two of the 14 teams participating in this month's CNOY. 

"Some of the teams are from churches, some are volunteers," McNish explains, "and there's a husband-and-wife team who volunteer with us on Tuesday evenings and actually have two teams going and they're kind of competing each other to see who can raise a bit more funds!"

Register at Knox United Church before 5 pm as the walk officially starts in Manitoba at 5:00.  McNish says it's important to note that folks don't have to walk in order to participate, they can make a donation outright or towards a specific team.

"We've got a goal of $20,000 and generally when we put that amount in to Blue Sea Foundation who facilitates the fundraiser," she says, "we get anywhere between $17,000-$19,000 with this walk with a goal of $20,000."  Blue Sea takes a marginal portion of funds raised with between 70-80% of the funds go to Samaritan House with a cheque in the mail in April.

The funds will be divided between their food bank and their safe and dry shelter in downtown Brandon on Pacific Avenue.

Please listen to more with Barb McNish below as she shares more information on the Coldest Night of the Year!

For more information, to donate and to register your own team, visit the CNOY website, or click HERE!  Be sure to scroll all the way down to check out the Brandon teams!

Photo credit Barb McNish