About 200 people took part in the Coldest Night of the Year walk on Saturday, raising $17,000 for the Mustard Seed.
The Coldest Night of the Year walk is an annual fundraiser that takes place in cities across the country. Since 2011, it has raised close to $5 million for partner charities that work to alleviate poverty and homelessness. For the second year in a row, the organization has asked the Mustard Seed to be its participating charity in Victoria.
“Last year was quite small, mostly staff walkers, but this year the response has been incredible,” said Kelcy Snyckers, the Mustard Seed’s marketing and events co-ordinator. The non-profit organization and street church operates a food bank and programs for families and individuals.
Snyckers said the money will go to transformative programs at the organization’s family centre.
“The main reason we are doing this is to raise awareness around affordable housing and childcare, as well as low wages, which are affecting the growing number of working poor in this city,” she said. “It’s become almost pandemic among the working poor that people are not making ends meet because of the costs of living.”