Saturday marks Family Resources Community Action’s 25th Annual ShelterWalk, a three-mile stroll to raise funds and attention for Woonsocket's Homeless population.
This year, for the 25th anniversary, Tracey Abrams, FRCA's Development & Communications Director said they'd like to best last year's $20,000 fundraising total.
Though registration is free, and anyone is welcome to walk, the sign-up sheet has a spot for walkers to pledge funds to the cause. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the walk Kicks off at 10 a.m. The 3-mile walk starts and ends at River Island Park. "It would be great if everybody could come with at least $25 in donations," Abrams said.
But another goal of ShelterWalk is to raise awareness about the City's homeless.
ShelterWalk supports the Woonsocket Shelter at 176 Sayles St. and homelessness prevention programs. The shelter serves 250 individuals a year, half of them children. In addition to emergency housing, families are linked to other services including employment & training, financial literacy and basic needs support to help them transition to safe, permanent housing.
Abrams said all the funds they can raise this year will be crucial, since the sequestration (across the board federal funding cuts) have put some of their funding in jeopardy. Even during normal times, she said, "It's just a constant struggle to keep that facility going," she said.
This year, ShelterWalk is getting some help from WPRI 12, which has signed on as the event's media partner. The channel's Tony Petrarca returns this year, Abrams said, this time with the WPRI weather truck. Also, the FRCA's director and assistant director made an appearance Thursday morning on the Rhode Show.
The event will include a welcome from Ben Lessing, FRCA Executive Director; greetings from 25th ShelterWalk Committee Co-Chairs City Councilor Dan Gendron & Chief Thomas Carey and Remarks from Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine and US Congressman David Cicilline.
Vic Ramos will provide DJ music during registration and after the event, when refreshments will also be provided.
Major Banner Sponsors of ShelterWalk include:
- Citizens Bank
- Fournier & Fournier Funeral Services
- NRI Community Services, Inc.
- Provider Group
- St. James Baptist Church
- St. James Episcopal Church
- Soucy Insurance Agency
- UnitedHealthcare Community Plan