Coldest Night of the Year 2021

Coldest Night of the Year 2021

February 20, 2021 may have marked Coldest Night of the Year but at First United and across BC our hearts were warm.  

CNOY is a national fundraising walk to raise awareness and funds for charities that support people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. After a two-year hiatus, First United participated in CNOY 2021 again and the outpouring of support surpassed all expectations.  

25 teams rallied and recruited 149 walkers to trek 2 or 5 kilometers in the cold, all in support of one thing: our mission to provide advocacy, survival-supports, and sanctuary in the heart of the city. These outstanding leaders went above and beyond: collectively, they gathered support from 1,040 donors who contributed $79,767. They exceeded our original goal of $20,000 by 300%! 

This magnitude of generosity, kindness, and belief in our work touches our hearts. It’s meaningful because it shows there is a wide community of people who believe in justice for Downtown Eastside and those who call it come.  

We are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from individuals, businesses, and communities of faith who believe in our mission so fiercely. Their collective efforts resulted in raising $79,252 for our work—almost 300% more than our original goal. We’re so grateful to our sponsors Strathcona Business Improvement Association and BC Housing for their ongoing commitment to support our neighbours experiencing extreme poverty in the Downtown Eastside. Their leadership helps us provide survival-supports, advocacy, and sanctuary to those we serve.

Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Executive Director of First United 

Meaningful and lasting change is possible when we come together in unity. To the 1,000+ who make up our donors, walkers, team leaders and sponsors: thank you for standing with us, and with those who call the Downtown Eastside home. Because of you, we are able to continue meeting the complex needs of this community now, and for the future. 

Check out the leader board below for each team’s outstanding contribution. Our special thanks goes to team captains for organizing and leading their teams to great success! 

You can still donate to First United in honour of CNOY21 through the end of February, too! You can donate, view the walker score board, and the national leaderboard here.

  • Team Highlands – Ruth Kershaw
  • Pacific Mountain Regional Council Staff – Tressa Brotsky
  • SHUC Walkers – Deb Walker
  • Canadian Memorial United Walkers – Karen Vanderheyden
  • LVUC Amblers – Judith Clark
  • Prak Pacers – Laruie Prak
  • Surviving People – Graham Brownmiller
  • Team Subaru Love – Tod Sullivan
  • Westcoast Energy Alumni and friends – Bruce Frankard
  • Philanthropy Aide – Amanda Burrows
  • Pacific Spirited Walkers – Jean McTavish
  • Canada Facilities Team – Joshua Grundy
  • 312 Main Co-working Team – Blair Galston
  • St Andrew’s Wesley – Diane Jones
  • First Things First – Carmen Lansdowne
  • Step it UP – Mandy Shintani
  • Dunder Mifflin Walkers – Julia Rutherford
  • Blenheim Blcok Walkers – Aaron Andersen
  • The spirit of Jo and Audrey – Beth Ringdahl
  • Libbie’s Team – Libbie Bake
  • The Walkingboldts – Russell Warneboldt
  • Aboriginal Housing Management Association – David Silva
  • East Van Walking Club – Katie Koncan
  • Luongo’s Lil Leggers – Lisa Luongo