The Island Crisis Care Society’s Coldest Night of the Year walk will only be virtual for 2021. This year’s theme, ‘A Place for Everyone’, emphasizes the message that it takes people of all shapes and sizes to make the community complete.(Submitted photo)

The Island Crisis Care Society’s Coldest Night of the Year walk will only be virtual for 2021. This year’s theme, ‘A Place for Everyone’, emphasizes the message that it takes people of all shapes and sizes to make the community complete.(Submitted photo)

Coldest Night of the Year walk in Parksville goes virtual for 2021

Participants have all of February to complete two- or five-kilometre walks

The Island Crisis Care Society’s Coldest Night of the Year walk is ready to go virtual for 2021.

In compliance with ongoing provincial restrictions, the annual community event will take place in the Parksville area through a mechanism of virtual walking. Doing so will allow participants to walk two or five kilometres at any time in February, and will help raise funds to help support people experiencing homelessness and trauma related mental health and substance use issues in the area.

Coldest Night of the Year is an annual Canada-wide event aimed to raise funds for issues of homelessness, poverty and food insecurity across the country. This year’s theme, ‘A Place for Everyone’, emphasizes the message that it takes people of all shapes and sizes to make the community complete.

Island Crisis Care Society has been the local co-ordinator of this event for the past 10 years.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach council looks to solve area’s cold-weather shelter problem

Though the event has been scheduled for Feb. 20 in many locations – including Parksville – the decision to allow virtual walking in place of a face-to-face event still encourages community-wide participation while ensuring safety and COVID-distancing compliance.

“Virtual” walking allows registered participants to walk at any time in February on a route of their choice. Participants can choose to walk alone, or with people in their social ‘bubble’ or with an appropriately distanced friend.

Registration is now open and can be completed online at cnoy.org/location/oceansideparksville. Participants need only commit to a fundraising goal, and walk. No registration fee is required to participate.

All funds raised for walking in Parksville will go toward local programs supporting people impacted by homelessness.

For information, see the Island Crisis Care Society website at: https://www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca/coldest-night-of-the-year-2021/ or email cnoy@iccare.ca.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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