The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation is optimistic about its biggest fundraiser of the year.
Heather Cassie, President of the organisation, says the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser has been the only fundraiser they’ve been able to rely on each year since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“It changes everything, every year,” says Cassie. “There’s amazing people that do this. Every year, it’s just part of what they do, and we come to rely on them. It’s an easy ask, once you’ve walked, and have asked people [to sponsor you] before.”
Coldest Night of the Year is a nation-wide event, which has participants raise money for their local non-profits by walking either two or five kilometres.
This year, The Table’s goal is set at $60,000, $15,000 more than last year. At the time of writing, the funds raised total $37,525.
Cassie says the money goes to their general fund, which covers a variety of needs. First and foremost, she says it keeps the organisation’s food supplies stocked.
According to Cassie, they provided 10,371 meals in 2021, up from 7,363 meals in 2020, and needs this year are already spiking. She adds that reserves from a particularly successful school food drive last year are starting to wear thin.
After food is taken care of, funds go towards keeping their low-cost hostel up and running, paying employees, and making vital repairs on their main building. Cassie estimates the building is around 140 years old, and is in dire need of flooring, window, and heating repairs.
With 19 days to go, Huntsville’s Coldest Night of the Year has 92 registered walkers across 26 teams. In the top spot is a team captained by Jason Fitzgerald, town councillor, which is composed of several municipal staff and related people.
Cassie says Fitzgerald has gone above and beyond over the past several years for the event, and his participation sends a clear message.
“I really feel that with the town being involved in such a key event, it raises awareness that we do have hungry, hurting, and homeless among us, and that they are not to be forgotten,” says Cassie.
Coldest Night of the Year is scheduled for February 26th. You can sign up for, or donate to The Table’s walk at the event’s website.