Originally spearheaded by a group of Australians and Kiwis, the Cold Plunge sensation has now become an international collaboration several season in. This year’s organizers, Tommas Coldrick and Anna Kharzeeva are from England and Russia, respectively, and there were 16 other nationalities participating.
Take a quick look at this awesome video of the event, courtesy of the Solidarity Club.
Or check out the Facebook page with photos courtesy of Dave’s Photo Studio.
"As a Russian person co-organising this mainly expat event, would you say it's common for Russian people to help raise awareness for people living on the streets. Are there any similar events that are spear headed by Russians, to support local charities?"
"First of all, I am very grateful to my Australian friends for getting me involved in this great fundraiser. I was helping out last year but since last year's organiser Karen Percy left, she asked me to take over which I was happy to do. I have organised a few fundraisers before, but never for the homeless. People living in the streets is generally an issue that gets very little attention in Russia. I have to be honest, I don't think I would have started helping these people if it wasn't for my Aussie and Kiwi friends. I noticed when speaking to Russian people about sponsoring the event, that to many of them the issue is not a top priority, it takes work to convince people it's a good cause. That's why I think one of the main goals of the event is to raise awareness as well as money. Having said that, there are some Russian people who dedicate their lives to helping the homeless, like Caritas, one of the charities we support, but I think these types of people are more hands on charity workers rather than fundraisers."
"I took part in the event last year, taking the plunge during my 2nd week in Moscow. I really liked what the event stood for, so I was extremely honoured when Anna approached me, to ask if I'd like to co-organise Cold Plunge for the Homeless 2014 with her. Of course I said yes. My career is very demanding, and Anna also has a lot on her plate, running 'Samovar Cook & Chat Club', but with just 3 weeks to organise the whole event, I think we did a pretty good job. I got our school, First Light Kindergarten, involved too. The owners, Natasha and Sergey Svetlov, sponsered the event and provided transport for the plungers. Several members of staff took the plunge and others volunteered. Even the parents of the kids who attend our school got involved and gave generous donations through the GoFundMe account. I really hope to be invloved again next year for Cold Plunge for the Homeless 2015."
There's plenty of work yet to be done to keep the men, women, children and families of Moscow safe and warm during the winter season, so it's not too late to contribute. Please consider a humble donation here.
Thanks again from all who were involved and on behalf of Moscow's homeless population!