Want to go for a walk?
The Winchester Area Temporary Transitional Shelter (WATTS) is encouraging Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County residents to once again team up, fundraise, and walk in the ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ (CNOY). This family-friendly, “winterrific” fundraising walk will take place on the evening of Saturday, February 24. The money raised stays local to support the work of WATTS in ending homelessness for Winchester, Frederick and Clarke counties.
Tens of thousands of Americans will take to the streets for CNOY events around the country on February 24. This year, there are over 40 cities, towns, and communities in the United States participating. By walking together in the chill of the night, participants bring awareness and gain understanding, stepping outside the warmth and comfort of home for a few hours and experiencing a little bit of what it might be like to be homeless in the dead of winter. It’s a meaningful event, but it’s also fun.
This is WATTS’ second year hosting a Coldest Night of the Year event for Winchester, and they’re aiming to raise at least $65,000 to support their work with people experiencing homelessness and hurt in our area. They hope to have 700 or more walkers this year to come out and show their support for WATTS “guests.” The walk routes go around downtown Winchester, and last year guests were touched to see all the participants who were walking for them.
The Winchester walk begins and ends at Braddock Street United Methodist Church, at 115 Wolfe Street. Check-in starts at 4pm; the walk steps off at 5pm, and all is said and done by 7pm. Participants can choose to walk a 2K or 5K route, will have a couple rest stops with food/water along the way, and will be able to celebrate and reflect on their efforts together at a simple soup kitchen afterwards. All walkers who raise over $150 (or $75 for youth) will also earn an iconic CNOY toque (beanie/toboggan) to wear as they face the cold night.
Anyone can join this family-friendly event to raise money for WATTS. Registration is 100 percent free and going on NOW! CNOY is a peer-to-peer fundraiser, so each walker asks people to sponsor them for walking, exponentially multiplying the impact for WATTS.
Get together your family, friends, neighbors, businesses and co-workers, church groups, school or civic clubs, and organizations, to form a team. Or walk individually. Individual walkers are invited to join the general WATTS team, “Walkers for WATTS“ captained by Board President, Mike Ashby. Children 12 and under must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian and no animals or pets are allowed due to insurance regulations.
Community sponsors of Winchester’s CNOY walk include Valley Health, the Ellison Family, and Berry Hill Logistics, LLC.
Register today and start fundraising before the Coldest Night of the Year walk day on February 24: https://cnoy.com/location/winchester.
WATTS has been serving the Winchester area since 2009. Their mission is to break the cycle of homelessness one life at a time. In 2009, a group of faith-based leaders recognized there was a population of homeless adults who do not qualify for admission to other local shelter programs. Realizing these folks would be sleeping outside during the coldest weeks of winter and seeing a solution with their warm church buildings which were empty at night, WATTS was born. Since that time, WATTS has grown and expanded to meet the needs of homeless individuals in our area. Today, they provide 21 weeks of overnight shelter from November to March via a weekly rotating schedule at host churches, along with a daytime Warming Center in the winter, and a daytime Cooling Center in the summer. They’ve also added their Transition out of Homelessness Program, with staff members who work year-round to assist guests in ending their homelessness. Funds raised in the Coldest Night of the Year walk will benefit WATTS guests at a time of the year known for historically low
levels of giving.