(Originally posted on GrantCOnnected.net’s website on February 21, 2015)
In 18 degree weather with snow coming down, Grant County residents bundled up and walked a mile on Shutter Way and Gallatin St. to help a cause.
Grant County Rescue Mission held its 10th annual “Walk-A-Mile In My Shoes” event Saturday, as a way to raise awareness about homelessness.
“It is an awareness-raiser and a fundraiser,” Debra Ballard, director of development at the Rescue Mission, said. “This is just a great way for us to let people know what the Rescue Mission does and that we are there, if they have someone that may be in need … this time of year and this kind of weather is a great time to remember that we are there.”
Ballard said the event also helps the Rescue Mission financially, because the “utility bills, the heating bills- all go up this time of year.”
“Our numbers [of people seeking shelter at Rescue Mission] go up this time of year because people that are normally on the street or living without heat, they can’t do that when it’s sub zero,” she added. “So they need a place where they can go because they may not make it.”
While the exact number has not yet been released, approximately 300 people walked 1/2 a mile from the Grant County YMCA to the Grant County Rescue Mission and then a 1/2 mile back to the YMCA.
Dusty Phillips, a member from the women’s shelter, said she liked seeing so many people come out and support this event.
“It feels a lot to know you have that support to back you up,” Phillips said. “[Walk a Mile is important] to those who need help off of the street.”
Last year, 500 walkers participated and over $22,000 was raised; the exact numbers for this year should be released Monday, Feb. 23.