A woman who has been plunging into icy water to raise money for a local food bank has raised nearly 20 times her initial goal.
Last month, Global News reporter Graeme Benjamin jumped into the mostly frozen Frederick Lake with Hubley, N.S. resident Kelly Loxdale.
Loxdale had been nearly done with a 30-day swim challenge that she started with the goal of raising money for Parker Street Food Bank’s Christmas Hamper Program that assists around 2,000 people in the community.
In light of all the hardships Nova Scotia has faced this year, she discovered a passion for swimming to help her mental health. Loxdale wanted to use that to help those in need during the holidays.
“The idea came to me that I can do a challenge with a purpose,” Loxdale said on Dec. 23.
“It’s a great contrast to my relatively short misery, getting into an icy lake, compared to those who can’t turn away from it.”
She called the challenge “Swim Kelly Swim,” and posted videos on Facebook.
Her initial goal was to raise $450, but by Christmas, she had already surpassed that goal.
On Friday, a news release by the Parker Street Food Bank said Loxdale’s challenge had raised over $10,000 for the charity.
Cynthia Louis-Smith, director of donor relations, said in the release the charity is grateful for Loxdale’s commitment.
“The holidays can be a wonderful time of the year where many spend time with loved ones, giving and receiving gifts, and sitting down in a warm home for a delicious Christmas family meal,” Louis-Smith wrote.
“Sadly, for some in our community, there is no warmth and there is no food. For them the holidays can be stressful and humiliating.”
Parker Street hard at work during the holiday season
The donations from Loxdale’s fundraiser, Louis-Smith said, will be “put to good use this winter.”
When it’s not Christmas time, the charity provides low-income families in the HRM with food, furniture, household items, clothing and school supplies. The release says 29,000 people were assisted in 2020.
In the release, Loxdale said she hopes to inspire other to do a 30-day challenge of their own in support of the charity.
“It doesn’t have to be December lake swims, in fact, I would seriously recommend you don’t pick that one, choose something that works for you,” Loxdale wrote.
— With files from Graeme Benjamin.
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