April 25, 2017
 
Inaugural Winter Walk Raises $100K for Five Mass. Nonprofits

February 14, 2017 — An inaugural two-mile walking fundraiser—called the Winter Walk—attracted 500 participants on Sunday who generated $100,000 for five nonprofits based in Boston and Cambridge that work to alleviate suffering and address the causes that give rise to homelessness.

"We had ambitious hopes for attendance and fundraising, and while we always hope to raise the most money possible to distribute to our partner organizations," said Ari Barbanell, co-founder of the walk. "We are very happy with the success of our first year. We raised awareness, and created a community that we hope will grow and improve. This is just the beginning of our work.

According to Winter Walk, all funds raised will be distributed as unrestricted grans to Winter Walk, which is still receiving funds, and will continue through the end of February, said it received more than $300,000 in in-kind and support gifts to underwrite the cost of the event.

Winter Walk sought to attract up to 1,000 participants on Sunday.

The event, which started and ended in Copley Square, after looping through The Public Garden and Boston Common, after required adults to pay a $100 registration fee, $75 of which was tax deductible. Children ages 3-12 paid $50, half of which was tax deductible.

Participants were encouraged to raise additional funds on their own. Winter Walk set up a fundraising page individuals and teams on the Crowdrise fundraising platform.

A community breakfast was held after the walk, featuring presentations on homelessness in Boston.

Barbanell said, "Including the homeless community in this conversation was essential. We put a challenge everyone who learned about our work with the message 'Don't Walk By.'

"It is important to remember that homelessness is a state of being, not someone's identity. We walked in solidarity with our incredible homeless and formerly homeless community and will continue to work to be the best possible advocate for this community

According to Winter Walk, there are nearly 3,400 homeless individuals and 1,450 homeless families in Boston.

In addition to Barbanell, Winter Walk was co-founded by Paul English, co-founder and CEO of Boston travel startups Kayak and Lola, and Robyn Glaser. Winter Walk is fiscally sponsored by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

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