“I’ll go for a walk.”

It’s that simple. That simple, but with serious impact. 

For Rotarian Cathy Harrop in Norfolk County, Ontario, that statement, “I’ll go for a walk” was her first step (pun intended!) in participating in the 2022 Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY).

Her second step? Just as easy: “Anybody want to go with me?” 

A few short weeks later saw Cathy and a team of 15 friends-turned-teammates raising $10,198.84 for a local charity and hitting the trail on their behalf. That’s over $10,000 of life-changing funds.

In her own words, “It was just… easy.” 

The Heart of Action 

Simplicity is at the heart of action. Give someone (or a group of someones!) one or two small, actionable, simple steps – that’s where their “yes” lives. Think of the “how did you get started?” stories you’ve heard: it was a walk, a phone call, a conversation, an invitation. Blue Sea’s P2P fundraising campaigns are built to facilitate that simple choice: I’ll walk, I’ll ride, I’ll help. 

In Cathy’s case, it all began one morning at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise. Daniel Avey, the director of Youth Unlimited YFC Norfolk, a charity that works with homeless youth, was the speaker. The necessity of the need couldn’t be more obvious: children and youth should have shelter, safe spaces, and food. When Daniel mentioned that their charity was participating in the Coldest Night of the Year – virtually due to COVID-19 – Cathy’s response was simple: of course she’d walk, and hoped others would join her.

All of these wins hinge on Daniel showing up at that Rotary meeting. That was his simple step. Both groups need each other. Rotary wants to help, Youth Unlimited is looking for support. CNOY was the bridge they needed to make that happen.

Service Over Self

The Rotary Club has a motto: Service Over Self. The more Club members heard from Daniel, the clearer the opportunity for service became. They are exactly the kind of group equipped and able to support change because Rotary Club members are all about a better community. All about Service Over Self. 

Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club members all show up for that very reason: to make a tangible difference in their community. For some, they want to set a better example for their kids. Others come because they have heard and seen the difference Rotary makes and want to do the same. For others still, in their retirement, they have all that work-energy to bring to volunteer initiatives. Whatever the reason, they all show up to build a better Norfolk County.

Then They Walked

Cathy put out her simple ask, “will you go with me?,” and the rest fell into place. They raised funds, they got organized, and walked on a local trail in support of Youth Unlimited. As simple, and as profound, as that. 

CNOY was everything they needed it to be. “Blue Sea has it all set up – people thanked me for organizing the team, but I didn’t really do much. It was all there,” Cathy shared. A blink of an eye saw a team of 15 walkers and $10,000 fundraised in a matter of weeks, not months. 

54 Rotary Clubs participated in CNOY 2022, each supporting a local charity in their community. Together they raised exactly $188,256.13, nearly doubling the previous year total of $99,279.39. That’s nation-wide momentum with enormous local impact. That’s what CNOY is all about. 

A Simple Step

It’s a simple step, really. Are you a community member with the drive to make a difference? Take a step. A simple, profound, trajectory-changing step to work with others and see the change unfurl.