PEI

100+ expected to experience the cold for 'critical' fundraiser

Harvest House in Charlottetown is inviting Islanders to experience what it is like to walk the winter streets, without a warm house to step into, as part of an annual fundraiser.

Coldest Night of the Year march scheduled for Feb. 25

Harvest House is expecting more than 100 people to march in Charlottetown. (Harvest House)

Harvest House in Charlottetown is inviting Islanders to experience what it is like to walk the winter streets, without a warm house to step into, as part of an annual fundraiser.

This is the fourth year that Harvest House has been involved in the Coldest Night of the Year march.

"It's the only fundraiser we do," said John Bennett, executive director for Harvest House on P.E.I.

"It's critical really. In fact, before it came to us about four years ago, when Coldest Night of the Year people approached us and asked us if we would partner with them hosting the Charlottetown walk, we were seriously considering closing the doors."

People marching in 120 cities

Harvest House helps local people who are hungry or homeless. It operates on a budget of a little more than $100,000 a year, and about half of that is raised by the Coldest Night march.

Participants collect pledges, and on the night of Feb. 25 in Charlottetown they will choose to walk a two-, five- or 10-kilometre route. At the end of the walk they will be offered a simple hot meal.

"It gives us a sense of what some of the people wandering our streets of Charlottetown are experiencing when they don't have a warm house to go to," said Bennett of the walk.

The Coldest Night of the Year March started six years ago in two cities, and now holds events in 120.

With files from Angela Walker

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