Coldest Night of the Year : Be a Part of Building Community

The Coldest Night of the Year is an annual walk that started in 2011 in support of the homeless, hungry and hurting. Now in it's third year, this walk generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations across Canada who are on the frontlines of working with those who are pushed to the margins of our communities.

This year the walk has come to Mississauga in support of the work of The Dam. Some people might think this is a strange fit... homelessness?... in Mississauga?...

It's true that we don't often see homelessness out in the open in Mississauga. Downtown Port Credit and Streetsville do not conjure up images of bodies covered in blankets on vents trying to keep warm through the night.

The Dam, from it's very beginning, has been committed to the prevention of homelessness. Michael Clarke and Bill Crawford were staff at Evergreen, a drop-in for homeless youth and part of Yonge Street Mission. They founded The Dam as an attempt ot work with youth before they ended up on the street. The Dam was called "The Dam" because they wanted to stop the flow of youth from 'feeder' communities.

While The Dam has become so much more over the past 17+ years, our desired impact remains the same; provide a safe and loving community for youth where they can gain the confidence and skills to engage their own journey towards their full potential. I truly believe that this is exactly what we do, which is why I'm still so in love with our Dam-ily after 9 years of being with this incredible organization.

This Coldest Night of the Year gives you a chance to be part of what we are doing! By walking in support of The Dam you get to spend one evening on the street, walking 5 or 10km, to ensure that youth in our Dam communities don't have to spend any nights there!

There are several ways to participate. The best way is to become a team captain and recruit some friends, colleagues, family, teammates, bandmates... whatever... to walk with you and raise funds for the cause! (Each person who raises $150 gets a sweet Coldest Night toque). The other ways to support are to sign up as a volunteer for the event or to donate to a team that is walking. You can find all you need to get started right here http://coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/mississauga

We are always meeting new youth at The Dam and one youth in particular has gotten very excited about giving back. He is brand new to The Dam and yet he has joined a team, printed out pledge sheets and in so excited to be a part of something! We are just starting to know this young man but the glimpses he has given us of his 15 years of life up to now are glimpses of pain and hurt. He, like all of us, so needs people in his life to believe in him, to love him, to surround him... he's hungry for it and has jumped right in to be a part of it... Community at The Dam is not something we do TO youth, it is something we do with them, and I have been as changed by it (probably more) as any of them. This walk gives a great opportunity for you to be a part of doing community with us too!

The latest video for Coldest Night just came out yesterday (I'm posting it below), the whole point of this event and the work The Dam does can be summed up by these words in the video, "What they need is community. We need each other."

Come and be a part of building community!

You can also donate online to The Dam through Canada Helps http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s63371

No fun to be in that kind of

No fun to be in that kind of situation man ..

 
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