2020 has truly been an unprecedented year for us all. Nonprofits, including JDRF, have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and a need to pivot to virtual events. That being said, our chapter rose to that challenge on May 9th for the 2020 Virtual Charlotte/Davidson Walk, as over 230 corporate, family and school teams, as well as individuals, participated in online fundraising and virtual engagement to spread excitement and support our T1D community.
Even though we couldn’t gather together in person, we received hundreds of posts and other interactions online showing our participants walking in their neighborhoods, biking around the block, hiking nearby trails with their dogs, running on their home treadmills – all in the name of continuing to raise critical funds and awareness for JDRF. Teams and individuals participated in fun online contests for best t-shirt; best Rufus coloring project; and best shoebox float. We also had a chalk art contest and an award for best team spirit, in addition to recognizing our V1P fundraisers (those who raised $1,000+) and all of our fabulous teams! The top 10 fundraising teams this year, from both Charlotte and Davidson, were:
- Jake’s J Walkers
- Stuart’s Little Engine that Could
- Emily’s Entourage
- Tim’s “Dia-Tribe”
- Gabriel’s Gladiators
- Captain Jack’s Crusaders
- Paxton’s Platoon
- ACT1 – Charlotte
Thanks to these teams and hundreds of others, during the first month of the COVID-19 shutdown our chapter was still able to raise over $100,000 and, in the weeks immediately leading up to the Virtual Walk, we had several days when over $10,000 per day was raised. We are so grateful to our teams and donors, and to this year’s Walk sponsors which included Presenting Sponsor LabCorp, Novant Health, Crowder Construction, Brothers Heating & Air, Rosendin Electric, Hologic, McCulloch England & Associates Architects, MSC Industrial, Providence Anesthesiology Associates, Rodgers, Shelco, SteelFab, Trane Technologies, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Carowinds, Orange Barrel Media, AvidXchange and Bank of America Private Bank. Thanks to this support, to-date, the Virtual Walk has raised over $625,000 and we are projecting a nearly 98% net – meaning even more dollars to funnel directly toward T1D research!
And finally, we conducted a live Walk day pep rally on our Facebook page (the first JDRF chapter to do so for a virtual spring Walk), which garnered 1,500 views and counting! If you haven’t already, be sure to check it out!: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=233550927907233. Even though we couldn’t all be together in person, it was truly an incredible day. We continue to be in awe of the power of our community.
On behalf of our chapter volunteers, staff and entire T1D community, THANK YOU to those who supported and participated in this historic Virtual Walk!