Lieutenant Joel Torrens of the Salvation Army did a little research recently.
The Coldest Night of the Year walk and fundraiser is coming up fast, to be held on Saturday, Feb. 22.
He was wondering what he was doing on past coldest nights, so he looked at his photos.
In 2016 he was watching the Super Bowl, so he ordered pizza and stayed home.
In 2017 he was sitting in a hot tub in Harrison.
“These are normal days for me, they don’t stand out.”
The point, he says, is that the Coldest Night fundraiser is about reminding people there are others who don’t have that luxury, the luxury of watching the Super Bowl or going away for a bit of a retreat.
He sees it as a good opportunity to come together as a community and think about what people are fortunate to have, while recognizing there are people who don’t have these things.
Torrens encourages people to register to walk or to go online to donate.
The fundraising goal listed is $35,000.
Torrens says one of the big things the Salvation Army is looking at right now is understanding how it can work with other agencies in Salmon Arm to work with the community.
“There are a lot of people here who care about those who are vulnerable,” he says, explaining he wants to work together to set up plans so people can really have their lives transformed.
“We’re hoping to have seed money to do things differently, not to do different things,” he emphasizes, noting the goal is helping people towards sustainability and self-sufficiency.
He says services are offered but sometimes the services people need are not.
Torrens gives the example of the Salvation Army in Regina. Volunteers there discovered a guy who had a job offer but couldn’t take it because he didn’t have steel-toed boots. So they got him steel-toed boots.
“What that meant in the long term was instead of sustaining him for a long period of time they were able to meet that need in the moment.”
Torrens emphasizes the Salvation Army is not going to stop doing anything it’s currently doing.
“We will do everything we can to maintain those services. But we want to be more intentional…”
He hopes people will come out to the Coldest Night of the Year to continue the connections.
“It’s just a wonderful community; we’re so thankful to be here.”