Rieko and I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who supported us in the 2017 annual Executive Sleep-out to raise funds and awareness for Covenant House in Vancouver this year. With your help, we were able to raise over $18,000.
Watch a 2-minute video about this annual fundraising drive that takes place in major cities across North America and the great work Covenant House does. In 2016, eighteen cities participated in this fundraising drive and collectively raised $7 million for homeless youth, of which $600,000 went to the Vancouver chapter.
This year, the Vancouver chapter had a fundraising goal of $750,000. The 62 participants who slept out on the streets November 16, 2017 actually raised $905,000. All funds raised will keep the lights on and the doors open for the close to 1,400 youth who seek help from Covenant House each year.
I have to say that this year's sleep-out was the toughest of the three I have participated in. A real humbling experience. It snowed early in the evening and then it rained pretty hard from midnight to 2 a.m. All we had was a piece of cardboard to sleep on and a lightweight kids sleeping bag. At one point, water was running inside by sleeping bag so I built a dam with its stuff sack to stop the flow. The sounds of sirens and the rats in the dumpster beside us kept me on guard all night. I got about 10 minutes sleep in total.
When it was time to get up, all I could think about was that I would be able to go home to a warm shower and a nice bed. But the kids we are supporting have to bear this night after night after night. Thanks to your support, it's possible for many at risk youth who are living on the streets to find a warm bed and help at Cov.