A cold walk for the hungry, hurting and homeless

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Open Arms Mission will host its second annual Coldest Night of the Year walk at the end of the month.

The walk held across Canada is hosted by and to benefit a local community-based charity.

“Coldest Night of the Year is a wonderful walk that is nationwide and it is to address the hungry, the hurting and the homeless across Canada,” said Jeff Aitken, pastor and mission centre manager.

The walk will feature two-, five- and 10-kilometre-long courses. Aitken said the best part of the walk — on top of raising much needed money — is that people walk alongside the clients of Open Arms Mission.

“It’s also a place where they can actually rub elbows, understand their needs, understand what it’s like,” Aitken said. “It helps people to instead of having sympathy to now have a sense of empathy.

“It goes from a ‘me’ and ‘them’ to a ‘we.’”

The walk takes place Saturday, Feb. 20, and will start and finish at Welland Community Wellness Complex on Lincoln Street. Registration starts at 4 p.m., there will be an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. and the walk will begin at 5:15 p.m.

Aitken said people can register online, at Open Arms Mission or on the day of the event.

“Last year’s numbers just shocked me and this year I think we’re going to have that again,” he said of a high turnout.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/welland.

franki.ikeman@sunmedia.ca

Source: Welland Tribune

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