Closeup of an older man wearing a knitted cap
February 2023

Hope in Action

As winter deepens, our friends who are experiencing hunger and homelessness face even more challenges. Your support of the Ray of Hope Community Centre ensures they can access support programs, food, and a warm place to stay during the day. We could not provide those services without the support of generous people like you.

As we gear up for the Coldest Night of the Year — a fundraising event that contributes significantly to the Community Centre’s budget — we’re grateful that you’ve chosen to walk alongside our guests. Thank you!

A walk for the ROHCC

Hundreds of individuals and groups, like Ken Martin and the members of Oasis Mennonite Church, are once again supporting the Ray of Hope Community Centre through the walk that makes our programs possible.

On Saturday, February 25, thousands of people across Canada will hit the streets for the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk. This national fundraising event supports programs that help neighbours experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness.

Here in Kitchener, CNOY walkers will be raising funds for the Ray of Hope Community Centre (ROHCC). For more than ten years, the generosity of our community has made Ray of Hope the top CNOY site in Canada, by dollars raised.

This year, our fundraising goal is $225,000. Among the walkers who will be helping us try to reach this goal is Ken Martin, who has led the CNOY team from Oasis Mennonite Church for several years.

Walking for a good cause

Four years ago, when the Kitchener church started, members were looking for ways to get involved in the community. They’ve since partnered with Ray of Hope to prepare and serve meals at the ROHCC. It’s a role that’s become more and more important as the number of guests needing our services continues to increase.

Ken’s kids had done the CNOY walk in the past and because he enjoys walking, he decided to form a CNOY team. Some years, as many as 30 people from the church participate.

A group of smiling people wearing winter coats and yellow toques stand outside a building

Oasis Mennonite Church is one of 52 teams (so far) that will be walking to support the ROHCC on the Coldest Night of the Year.

A sense of community

For Ken, the best part of the Coldest Night is “the sense of community you feel during the walk – people doing things together for a good cause.”

“I also enjoy the apples,” he says with a laugh. And no wonder! Ken is the Director of Orchard Operations at Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. Martin’s generously donates hundreds of apples for CNOY walkers to snack on.

Thanks to dedicated walkers like Ken and the team from Oasis Mennonite Church, committed companies like Martin’s Family Fruit Farm, and our generous donors, Ray of Hope will be able to continue serving people in need this winter.

If you would like to be involved in this year’s CNOY walk, please register to walk, donate or volunteer here. Thank you!

Help a neighbour in need

When you give, you make life a little easier for vulnerable people in our community. Thank you!

URGENT: The Marketplace food hamper program is running low on all items and the following are especially needed:

  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned food (meat and fish, fruit, soup, vegetables, etc.)
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Reuseable or plastic shopping bags
  • Toiletries, including toothpaste and toothbrushes, razors, shampoo/conditioner and feminine hygiene products

For more information, please contact us at: All donations are appreciated!

You can also feed hungry people through our secure donation page.



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