We are thrilled with the results of our second Coldest Night of the Year campaign! The Cowichan Valley came out in full force to show how much they care about our vulnerable youth. We have raised over $86,000 to date!
The CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch has been providing services to youth and families in the community since 1992. Some of these programs include the Family Capacity Program, Sexual Abuse Intervention Program, Rainbows (grief counselling for children), the Youth Services Centre, BounceBack (free telephone coaching for youth experiencing mild anxiety and depression), and Youth Connect, a one to one early intervention program for youth in need of extra support.
Funds raised on Coldest Night of the Year 2023 will go to the new capital account created last year with the long term plan of purchasing or building a safe space/facility for homeless youth. Due to the size of this project, fundraising will be ongoing. We are so pleased to be off to such a great start!
While the generosity shown by the community and funds raised will go a long way to help us create much needed supports for at-risk youth, equally valuable was the feeling the event created. At a time when it seems there is so much negativity and turmoil in the world, it was very heartwarming to see people coming together in kindness to make a positive impact.
It's not possible to thank all the teams and walkers here, so we encourage you to visit our CNOY webpage and take a moment to acknowledge everyone who worked so hard for us. They reached out to their networks to fundraise, they made donations, and they showed up on Feb 25th to walk in the cold and snow(!) for the vulnerable youth in our community who spend days, weeks and months without shelter. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them. (Photo of "Team New Life", our Top Fundraising Team for the second year in a row raising $7,123!)
We invite you to support the businesses and community groups that supported us. We thank our sponsors Peninsula Co-op, BC Housing, Knowledge Computers, Duncan Iron Works, Gordon 'n Gordon Interiors, Shawnigan Lake School, Coastal Community Credit Union, Galaxy Motors, Chances Cowichan and The Old Firehouse Wine & Cocktail Bar. We thank those that we received goods and services from, including CVRD Recreation, Panago Pizza, Gibby's Cafe & Catering, Starbucks at Beverley Corners, Tim Hortons Cowichan, Coffee on the Moon, Juice FM, Coast Outdoor Advertising, The Valley Voice and YYJ Soup Video.
We also want to thank the dedicated volunteers who worked to plan this event - Christine Pollard, Laurie Harding, SandiLea Gibson, Teri Young - they spent many hours soliciting sponsorships, planning routes, recruiting team captains and volunteers and more. The CMHA CVB could not have done this without them. A big thank you also to our 40+ event volunteers who helped with check-in, route marshalling, staffing rest stops, setting up, taking photos, creating snowflakes, serving pizza/hot chocolate and cleaning up.
Finally, none of this would have been possible with out the well oiled machine that is the Blue Sea Foundation. The guidance and support provided by our Blue Sea partners (also a registered charity) was invaluable. They provided everything that we needed from the user friendly interface at cnoy.org, to promotional materials, signage, templates for success, weekly coaching, tax receipting, insurance, networks of community groups to share ideas with, and of course, hundreds of very cool toques!
We look forward to #CNOY24 and invite you to mark your calendars for Saturday, February 24th, 2024!