The Second Annual Winter Walk began at nine in the morning in The Copley Square Plaza on Sunday, Feb. 11. Founded by Kayak co-founder and CEO of Lola Travel, Paul English. A total of $100,000 was raised last year at the very first Winter Walk, a two mile excursion that begins and ends in Copley.
On the cold and rainy morning, more than one thousand walkers from all over New England registered and donated to show their support. Over seven hundred attended and walked together. So-called “virtual walkers” also showed their support by donating if they were unable to attend the event.
All funds raised by this event directly support local Boston organizations that provide crucial care and support for the homeless community. After walking two miles, attendants enjoyed live music and warm meals donated by local charities and groups.
Executive Director of The Winter Walk, Ari Barbanell, works year round in the fight to end homelessness. Even though she has her hands full with organizing The Winter Walk, she still makes time for other organizations.
“The most thrilling thing is that this is my full-time endeavor. I am lucky enough to also work with a team Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, one of our partners. I help out with extra special projects there…This is a cause I have become very connected to, and one of the greatest gifts of my life,” Ari said.
Amanda Grantrose of Common Cathedral said “We [at Common Cathedral] brought 60 people, we are seeing people from all over Boston, and the surrounding areas as well. We are a faith based community so I know there were other churches, organizations and corporations that came with teams as well.”
David Albaugh, also on the staff at Common Cathedral “I think that the organization [The Winter Walk] is fabulous. They have done a tremendous amount of work within a very short period of time, and they recognize a real need in the city of Boston, and they address it. The wonderful thing about it is that it cuts across all demographics, all populations, all faith based organizations… no matter where you are going, where you are coming from, if you need help from this organization, they will help you better your life.”
Sponsors for The Winter Walk this year included Newbury Comics, Boston Medical Center, The Boston Foundation, General Catalyst, Cannistraro, The Hym Investment Group, Partners Healthcare, SignDesign, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Cumberland Farms, Redfin, Polar, Kind and Wegmans.