For 14 years, Water Mission supporters have joined in Charleston and across the country (and now around the world!) to Walk for Water. Supporters like you have walked thousands of miles and raised millions of dollars to provide clean, safe water for communities in need around the world.
Each year, participants put themselves in the shoes of our sisters and brothers who make harrowing journeys often covering miles as they walk for water every day. Walk for Water participants encourage friends and family to join the fight to end the global water crisis by supporting or walking.
This year, for the first time, our Walks went virtual.
As the pandemic worsened nationwide in March and only a few days remained before our flagship Charleston Walk for Water, we decided to take the Walk virtual, in order to follow national guidance on social distancing and protect the health of all participants. We weren’t sure what the outcome would be, but we were walking by faith.
And supporters like you blew us away! It was an overwhelming joy to see social media posts flood in using the hashtag #2020VirtualWalkCHS, as families, children, and pets set out on a three-mile journey from their own homes to support transformative safe water solutions.
As COVID-19 has made us acutely aware of the importance of washing our hands frequently and properly, the critical significance of safe water has never been more clear. So, as we prepare now for a series of regional Walks this month – from Beaufort to the Twin Cities to Toronto – we encourage you to find a Walk near you or support one from afar!
Passionate supporters across North America have worked tirelessly to prepare for their Walks in this new format, and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold via social media. And if there’s not already a Walk near you, we have plenty of resources to help you host a Walk in your own area.
The Walks will begin with a virtual broadcast kick-off, after which participants will lace up their shoes, sport their Walk t-shirts, and set out on a course through their own neighborhoods for a first-of-its-kind virtual Walk for Water event! And this year, we have more tools than ever to keep participants connected and engaged:
A full toolkit for your social media accounts, including…
- “Fill the Bucket” challenge: A set of colorful, informative, engaging Instagram and Facebook Story slides where your friends can help you raise funds via Venmo or PayPal
- Social media images with a variety of messages, from “Walk with me!” to “Thank you for your support!”
- Facebook profile picture frames
- An iSpy activity for kids to play during the Walk
- Easy-to-understand educational tools to teach your families, friends, coworkers, and social media followers about the global water crisis, including…
- Mobile-friendly quick-fact signs, perfect for reading during your Walk or sharing on social media
- A global water crisis fact sheet
- Personal journey maps illustrating the stories of individuals who used to lack safe water
- Innovative fundraising suggestions (involving coffee, chalk art, and more!)
Though we deeply miss the days when we could gather together by the hundreds and thousands to Walk for Water, we have also been amazed by all the ways the Lord has continued to work through the obstacles we face.
We’ve seen God grow engagement in the Walk and, most importantly, in fighting the global water crisis through this new format: Many who couldn’t travel or participate in in-person Walks have joined for the first time this year; new Walks are cropping up across the continent; and our social media community is keeping us connected like never before.
So, while we can’t wait to join together in person again one day, we also look forward with faith to all that God will continue to accomplish through Water Mission’s virtual Walks. For now, check out our Virtual Walks page to find a Walk near you or host your own, and follow along on social media as we share highlights from Walks happening across North America this month!