Nobody wants to be without a place to call “home”. Everyone longs for a place to stay dry and comfortable. Shelters for the homeless provide such a service. Unfortunately, many of these shelters are segregated by gender, causing families to spend nights apart. But one shelter in Calgary, AB provides a place for families who have lost their home and so much more.
Inn from the Cold began in 1997 by a group of churches in downtown Calgary. They sought to create a “community where no family is homeless”. Over the years, more churches joined in the cause to provide shelter for those families unfortunate to be homeless. Today, close to 100 churches, synagogues and community organizations have joined forces to assist more than 1,000 families seeking shelter from the elements and help them move on to better things. More than 3,800 volunteers work to provide everything from meals and laundry services to employment skills and budgeting classes. And once someone transitions out of the Inn, help remains available to him or her via the support network that includes a food bank, transportation for job interviews and more.
The efforts of this organization came to the attention of World Financial Group Executive Marketing Director Cameron Michaud. When one of his team members, who volunteers at the shelter, suggested Cameron and his team have a silent auction and raffle during a recent holiday gala. Items up for bid included hockey tickets, a mentoring session with Executive Vice Chairman Réal Michaud, as well as a golf outing with the company’s top leaders. Cameron’s team members also came up with creative things to bid on, such as the order in which everyone would eat.
Regardless of who ate first, the giving was tremendous. In the span of two-and-a-half hours, Cameron’s team raised $20,500 for Inn from the Cold. The funds were then placed in the Inn’s Outreach program. And the giving did not stop there as the WFG Charitable Trust matched Michaud and his team’s efforts with a matching $18,000 contribution.
In 2008, Inn from the Cold helped about 260. If you wish to donate your time or funds, learn more on how you can at www.innfromthecold.org.