Registration is now open for Macomb Community Action’s 31st annual Walk for Warmth 2021, a self-paced 5k event that supports low-income Macomb County residents in need during the winter months. Funds raised during the event will be used to assist individuals with heat-related emergencies like paying a utility bill or replacing a broken furnace. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this years fundraiser will be held individually, with residents choosing their own location to walk during Sunday, Feb. 21 to Saturday, Feb. 27.
Last year, more than 200 people participated in the 30th annual event, held indoors in February, which raised over $18,000. Because of the impact of COVID-19, Ernest Cawvey, director of Macomb Community Action, said this year's event is "more important than ever".
"The pandemic also reminds us that we cannot address these monumental challenges alone, and the Walk for Warmth symbolizes the broad partnerships that help Macomb Community Action serve our community," Cawvey said. "We are thankful for the outpouring of community support that we have received throughout the pandemic, and grateful to our Walk for Warmth community sponsors and all of the individuals that have pledged their support this year. We look forward to seeing you virtually for this event.”
Since it began, Walk for Warmth has raised nearly $770,000 that has helped local families stay warm in their homes throughout the winter. In 2020 alone, the event helped support 26 households — over 50 individuals — with electric or natural gas assistance. Of these recipients, 14% were single-parent households, 43% of families were at 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, 35% of the individuals were children, 12% were seniors over the age of 60, 21% were disabled individuals and five households were assisted with furnace repairs and replacements.
Participants this year will pledge online to walk or run 5k and are encouraged to take social media selfies and photos throughout their experience. By hashtagging #W4W2021 and tagging Macomb Community Action on Facebook (@MacombCommunityAction) and Twitter (@_mcaction), participants can enter themselves
for photo contests and prizes. The first 100 walkers to sign up will receive a Wally the Walker scarf.