Toronto Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising Event - February 24, 2023

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Toronto Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising Event - February 24, 2023

By Dylan Woolacoot is a Journalist with the FOCUS Media Arts Centre.

The event featured a variety of speakers from the YSM, including Angela Solomos (Vice President of Philanthropy), Eleanor Edwards (Community Engagement & Fundraising Specialist), Leah Katerberg (Vice President), Melissa Quigle ( Dream Team Captain), Angie Peters (President and CEO), and Jason Farquharson (from the Evergreen Drop-in Centre).

Melissa Quigle, one of the speakers at the event, stated that the reason she was walking is because when she was homeless she had somewhere to go to get support. When she was hungry, she had a food bank she could rely on. When she needed community support, she found community members were there for her. Melissa told attendee’s that she was walking because she knows what it's like to have suffered from addiction, abuse and being homeless. “Tonight all we ask is that you put yourselves in their shoes. Empathize with these people that you are seeing. We’re out here for a good reason.” Said Melissa.

According to Leah Katerberg, Toronto has about 500,000 people who are impacted by poverty annually and 2022 broke records of visitors to foodbanks, as over 2 million visits were logged. Leah added that inflation and rising costs of living make if even more difficult for those already living in poverty and threatens to bring many more people below the threshold.

This year there was an outstanding show of support with over 335 walkers.This was also YSM’s 13th year of participation in this national event as one of 182 other charities walking and raising 12 million dollars nation-wide for people experiencing poverty. YSM’s goal of $160,000 was 89% $142,323 fulfilled on the night of the event, and has since been met. Donations will continue to be accepted throughout the month of March 2023. You can still donate today by visiting and searching for the Yonge Street Missions fundraiser page in the ‘Toronto Downtown Yonge Section of ‘Find Your Location’.



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Video Upload Date: March 10, 2023

FOCUS Media Arts Centre (FOCUS) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative media stereotypes of low income communities and provide relevant information to residents living in the Regent Park area and surrounding communities.

We seek to empower marginalized individuals and under represented communities to have a voice, through the  use of professional training, mentorships and participatory based media practices that enable the sharing of stories, experiences and perspectives on relevant matters and issues. In brief our mandate is to empower marginalized individuals and under-serviced communities to have a voice and tell their own stories.


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