Employees of Green Storage, which operates eight self-storage locations in Ontario, participated on Feb. 22 in “Coldest Night of the Year” (CNOY), a walk-a-thon that raises money for local charities serving the homeless and needy in 144 Canadian communities. This year’s event netted nearly $5.8 million toward its national goal of $6 million.
The three-member Green Storage team collected $1,907 in cash donations as well as four large bags of clothing, toiletries and footwear for its beneficiary, Inn From The Cold, which provides temporary emergency shelter, housing and support as well as homeless-prevention programs. The funds will be used to pay for meals, employment-training programs, clothing and other essentials, according to Ed Crawford, site manager of Green Storage Newmarket.
“First of all, I would like to thank my fellow walkers, Amanda and Sonia, as well as the management team, including our owner partners at Green Storage, for supporting us in the ‘Coldest Night of the Year,’” Crawford said. “What you did means a lot to the people in our community who need support, help and encouragement that this money will provide. It's a big deal for the people we're supporting!”
The Green Storage team also enjoyed promoting the event to its tenants. “The customers felt good donating either funds or items—some brand new—that could be sent through to the shelter,” Crawford said.
CNOY participants walked two, five or 10 kilometers on a looping 5-kilometer route, beginning at dusk. Participants registered online and set up their own fundraising pages. Registration was free for children age 10 and younger. Kids age 11 to 17 and adults were required to raise $75 and $150, respectively, or pay a $25 fee.
“We were stoked to do the walk wearing funny glasses and leys, pins, hats, and making noise with our noisemakers when we weren't singing or chatting,” Crawford said. “The walk was followed up with a bowl of hot chili, cornbread, veggie sticks, deviled eggs, and hot chocolate or coffee.”
This year’s event included 23,610 walkers in 3,570 teams, 5,876 volunteers and 78,562 donors. The next walk will take place on Feb. 20.
Green Storage operates facilities in Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Hamilton, Keswick, Newmarket, Orillia and Toronto. Its sustainable features include e-waste disposal, electric vehicle-charging stations, LED lighting, low-flush toilets and solar panels. The facilities also offer boardrooms and business suites, mailboxes, moving and packing supplies, parcel lockers, truck rentals, and vehicle-storage parking.