“Coldest Night of the Year” raises record amount for YWCA Regina

Reginans showed up-virtually- for the Regina YWCA’s Coldest Night of the Year, raising a record amount of money.

The 6th annual event had a goal of $25,000. The event’s participants more than doubled that, raising $58,000.

CEO of YWCA Regina Melissa Coomber-Bendsten says the support was overwhelming.

“It’s absolutely inspiring, and I think it really speaks to, everybody’s feeling the pressure of the pandemic, and I think during that time, it’s so wonderful to see the community really understand that, for vulnerable people in our community, it’s been worse,” said Coomber-Bendsten. “I think it inspired people to participate, and to help raise money for the YWCA.”

All of the money raised is going towards the YWCA’s “My Aunt’s Place” the only women and girls shelter in the city.

Despite the pandemic forcing participants to walk in their own bubbles, Coomber-Bendsten says the turnout was fantastic.

“It was better than we were expecting,” said Coomber-Bendsten. “I think when you put on a walk in the middle of a pandemic, the truth is you never know what to expect, and I think that this year, we had more walkers than we’ve ever had. I think that speaks to the community rallying together to show support.”

Coomber-Bendsten says it’s important to realize that they fight against homelessness in Regina isn’t just a one-day thing.

“I think it’s always a good reminder to take time in our daily, busy lives, even in the middle of a pandemic, or not, to remember that for some folks, realities are different,” said Coomber-Bendsten. “I think recognizing how important that advocacy piece is, is what sort of keeps us going and motivated to do it again next year.”

The Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser started in 2011.

Coming into this year, the event had raised $33,500,000 nationwide for Canadian charities working to alleviate housing, homelessness and harm.

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