BROCKVILLE -- Fundraising for the Coldest Night of the Year event is underway in Leeds and Grenville.

Connect Youth Inc. is hosting the event in Brockville, one of 100 cities participating in the fundraising event to support homelessness across Canada.

"Coldest Night of the Year is an event where it encourages Canadians to get outside and experience a cold winter's night," said Robyn Holmes, interim executive director of Connect Youth Inc.

"The goal is usually for teams to get together on an event night to walk together and raise money for homelessness across the country, but this year there is a virtual event option which is what we have selected for Connect Youth Inc."

By having the event virtually, it allows individuals to be COVID safe and to walk to a location of their choosing anywhere in Leeds and Grenville.

"The actual Coldest Night of the Year event date is Feb. 20, so this year what we are doing is all of our fundraising will be virtual based," said Holmes.

"We are looking for people to start their own teams to raise some funds. We are also looking for people to have business sponsors. If you can’t help in one of those capacities, you can just donate to one of our existing teams."

This is the second year for the Coldest Night of the Year after a very successful event in 2020.

"We are very excited to have it back this year. There are no limit of teams, and you can make your teams as big or as small as you like," added Holmes. “You can raise as much or as little money as you’d like also. Any amount that you can raise is fantastic. It all comes back to connect youth and our youth housing program in Leeds and Grenville."

Connect Youth Inc. is celebrating 20 years and its mission is to assist, support and refer young people in need. They also offer drop in programs that provide basic needs to young people including meals and food assistance.

They operate five youth transitional apartments in Brockville, Kemptville, Prescott and Spencerville.

"If you are unable to walk, we encourage people to just get outside and do something. You can do some yoga or just come sit outside and experience a cold winter's night. Otherwise you can pick the traditional 1, 2, 5 or 10 kilometre walks for coldest night," Holmes said.

"Any support is really greatly appreciated. It comes right back to our communities to help youth who are homeless in Leeds and Grenville and we really couldn’t do it without the support of our community members."

More information can be found on the Youth Connect Inc. Facebook page or you can contact Robyn Holmes at 613-918-0173