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Friday, November 5, 2010

Hawaii Nonprofit Holds Charity Walk for Homeless

Hawaii Nonprofit Holds Charity Walk for Homeless

Did you know that on any given day 6,000 people in Hawaii are homeless? Take part in the fight against homelessness starting next Wednesday, Nov. 10 through Nov. 19 during the 6th annual Walk the Talk. The charity walk is organized by the local nonprofit, Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope (H-5) and coincides with the National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

The around-Oahu walk is split into 10 days and begins every morning at 8 a.m. The route, sectioned into 9 to 18-mile parts, starts and ends at the state capitol. “You can walk one mile, or just an hour,” says H-5 program coordinator Max Gray. “It’s not the Honolulu Marathon; it’s more of a statement and a commitment of your time and energy.”

Gray explains that participants can register for any portion of the walk—or all of it—online. H-5 is asking for a $30 donation, which includes a green Walk the Talk T-shirt, as well as free meals and overnight accommodations at local parks and churches for those who want to participate for several days.

Proceeds from the fundraiser go to the Next Step Shelter in Kakaako and the four Evans Mobile Shelter buses—former Roberts Hawaii buses that provide a place for the homeless to sleep overnight. Gray says that Next Step is currently home to 200 people (34 of which are children) and that 35 people utilize the Evans buses each night.

Last year, 20 people participated in the entire walk, in addition to 30 others that walked part-time. Gray says more and more join in each year; this year the nonprofit is hoping to have more than 100 walking.

New this year is an additional fundraiser celebration on Day 4 of the walk at Hauula Beach Park featuring food booths, hula performances, keiki games and music by Makana and the Royal Hawaiian Band.

“Members come out of Walk the Talk with a deep understanding of the homeless. They have a new connection to the whole issue,” says Gray, adding that many participants become volunteers at Next Step. “For the [homeless] that walk, they come out totally different people and have a sense of camaraderie and connection.”

 Photos courtesy of Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope


Posted on Friday, November 5, 2010 in Permalink

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