by Randi Corey
We’re approaching the fall of 2010 (where did the summer go?) – when the majority of HA WALKs are held. Between September 1st and November 7th 16 of HA’s 24 annual WALKs are scheduled! This is my first “walk season” with HA and I’m really looking forward to attending some Walks and hearing about the others.
When I first met Laurene McKillop, and she described HA’s Walk program, I must admit I was astonished. I couldn’t believe that HA had 24 WALKs across the country and all of them were entirely volunteer initiated and driven! Having worked for 20+ years for large, non-profit health organizations I was accustomed to walks being run by chapter staff with the help of volunteers. Throughout my career in the non-profit arena the commitment of the volunteers had always been impressive, but the when I heard about HA’s volunteers I was speechless. The WALK Chairs had to be extraordinarily dedicated to initiate, plan, coordinate and execute a WALK (in many cases by themselves!)
After their WALK event I hope each WALK Chair takes a moment to pat themselves on the back. Running a WALK may be a “labor of love” for most HA Chairs – but it is still a tremendous commitment and I am humbled by their passion (and their results!) And it seems every week we’re contacted by another volunteer in another geographic region interested in learning more about starting a WALK. There is no doubt that one of HA’s greatest resources is its volunteers!