KAMLOOPS — New Life Community has been on front line of the fight against homelessness in the city of Kamloops for decades. The organization wouldn’t be able to help the number of people they do without the help of the community. One of New Life’s biggest fundraisers is the Coldest Night of the Year, a nationwide fundraiser that keeps all money raised in the community. 2018 marked the 7th annual Coldest Night of Year held in Kamloops and thanks to our recent wintery weather, the event lived up to its namesake.
For those who took part in the Coldest Night of the Year walk, it’s a fun few hours outside, enjoying campfires and hot chocolate before heading inside to our warm homes; for the most vulnerable people in our community, it’s a way of life.
“New Life Community has a huge presence in [Kamloops], and people realize the good work that they do. I think [Coldest Night of the Year]… is an opportunity to see other supporters, and get together and do something that’s physical and active,” CNOY Walk Coordinator Carol Paulsen explained.
With the unseasonably snowy weather, the walk was moved from Riverside Park where it was held last year, back to the parking lot of New Life Community on West Victoria Street.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to be at the park,” Paulsen said. “I think if we can get down to the park we can expand our numbers even more.”
One of the supporters of the Coldest Night of the Year walk is Rocky Hunter, of Dominos Pizza in Kamloops.
“It really stresses the point of what homeless people have to deal with,” Hunter said when asked why he’s such an ardent supporter of the Coldest Night of the year. “They don’t camp outside, they live, they sleep… For them to have to do that - I just couldn’t imagine myself having to do that.”
Hunter says he supports New Life Community because of the important services they provide to those people truly in need in the city.
For Carol Paulsen, seeing that kind of support from businesses and individuals in our community is incredibly important for those who access the services New Life Community provides.
“Proving meals, providing dental support and all of the types of things that are missing in [homeless people’s] lives. [New Life] provides an opportunity for them to take advantage of some of those services that are here.”
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