How Do You Virtually Walk for LOVE?
When the Whole Point is Getting Together to Walk, How the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital Address it Amid a Pandemic
Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City had their first Walk for LOVE as they rang in their 90th birthday in 2015. The day, which served as a fundraiser and a way to celebrate patients, quickly became a tradition for many of the hospital’s supporters. The Walk continued to grow not only in numbers, but particularly in fundraising dollars each year. As the date for the 2020 Walk for LOVE approached, the hospital staff knew the safety of the participants and staff was priority. The decision was made to not gather at the hospital like previous years, and they immediately starting getting creative for what a virtual Walk for LOVE could be.
This event had become important for patients, Shriners, family, friends, sponsors and other supporters. So the hospital sent a Walk in a box to each participant, inviting them to choose a day between September 12 and 19 to choose a route in their community and complete the Walk. The walk was different, so in many ways, expectations were lowered. Unexpectedly, the number of participants did not dip, but was in fact more than the previous year. In addition, the fund-raised amount was very close to the previous year, raising over $112,000.
Participants walked in their own communities with their friends and families, like a family who walked in their own neighborhood in honor of Niko, who started his treatment for his clubfoot last year.
Team Tucker Tough, who are easily spotted each year in the crowd with their bright green shirts, continued their tradition and invited friends and family to a nearby park in their community to show their love for the boy they walk for, Tucker.
Many participants posted #WhyIWalk videos explaining their connection to Shriners Hospital and why participating in the Walk for LOVE means so much to them. Among the touching posts was one from Hadley, a patient in Idaho who shared her why.
Another fun detail to observe from all the social media posts was spotting T-shirts from previous years represented.
The week of walks was wrapped up at the hospital with Facebook LIVE celebrating all the fundraising and some highlighted moments from the week.
To see all the virtual Walks that were shared on social media, check the hashtag, #WFLSLC2020 on your favorite platform and check out the virtual walk sizzle reel on YouTube.
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