Walk With Me

Perhaps you have heard and maybe even taken part in Walk With Me – one of the few Australian events aimed at connecting people of all abilities. A few days ago another of the 20 annual charity walks took place at Lake Weeroona, and this one was very successful one in terms of attendance, with more than 150 people taking part.

Here are some more details about Walk With Me.

The campaign started in 2010 and its main aims are to make people with disabilities feel included in society, and to raise money for disabled people from Australia. The campaign fulfils its goals by organising walks of varying distance in every Australian state: ‘It is not a fun run, nor a competitive fitness event but a recreational walk, providing family, friends, colleagues and members of the general public with the opportunity to walk alongside their mates with disabilities in a non-competitive, lively, fun and very public environment.

It goes without saying that Walk With Me is a great campaign which has changed the lives of many people.  Some of them received the necessary funds to get treatment for their disabilities, others found new friends and were able to participate in social activities and ALL were accepted and included despite having different ability levels.

Walk With meThe campaign, however, works on other levels as well –education, raising awareness and most importantly, building community involvement. The walks are a further step in the management of an NFP – a step which takes the organisation from the level of standard donation options and reminders to the level of actually engaging people. True, it is important to have all the publicity going hand-in-hand with such an event, but it is also important that it creates habits in the society. Those who participate tend to look differently on people with disabilities (1 in every 4 Australians) but they also take ownership of the event and, in some cases, of the problem itself.  The event activates those people who are interested in what your NFP does but have not found a way to contribute.

Therefore, these events are great on so many levels. They are able to actually raise money for people in need, to attract the media attention, to find new sponsors and supporters, and build community involvement. They also provide a good opportunity for children to learn what it is to be different and how important it is to help others the best you can – financially or ‘socially’. By participating in such events, people are doing much more than simply making a donation – they are building an ownership of the path to solution.

Having all this said, can you think of ways that your NFP could engage the community and raise awareness of your cause?

Every Non-for-Profit is capable of achieving this kind of result. All it is required is some motivation, cheerful and keen volunteers and a great spirit. If you have not tried it yet, please do.  The results are certainly worth the effort!