“Giant Boxes for Giant Walks” – Faith, ACD Programs Coordinator

I wish I had taken a photo of the boxes that took over my home back in the summer of 2021. At the time I was living in a tiny apartment in downtown Salt Lake City. It was my first Walk for Strength with ACD. How many boxes does it take to transport 700 shirts? I remember asking myself. Surely, it won’t be that big of a deal. Sweet, innocent Faith.

Before I knew it, my bedroom, dining area, and living room were full of giant boxes of Walk for Strength t-shirts. Everywhere I looked there were t-shirts. My then 1.5 year old son had the time of his life running from box to box, throwing t-shirts all over the place. My walk initiation was an adventure, to say the least!

What I didn’t understand at the time, as an ACD newbie, was that the Walk for Strength was experiencing a massive growth spurt. The very first Walk for Strength took place in 2016 and had a total of 92 walkers. Let that sink in–92! In the summer of 2021 we were looking at a growth percentage of about 660%! 2022 saw an even bigger turnout of 1,121 walkers. Now here we are, two weeks out from walk day 2023, and we have over 1,025 walkers. This kind of growth gets me excited!

The Walk for Strength started as a grassroots effort with a few CCDS families and has become one of ACD’s most important awareness and fundraising initiatives of the year. If you’ve been following along on social media, you’ll know that 2023 is proving to be a huge year for our community. Already in 2023, ACD has announced $315,000 of funding towards research. And we still have several important research proposals to fund. This means that there are researchers READY to dive into life-changing research. All they need are the funds to get started. With so many new research opportunities, the Walk for Strength is more important than ever!

We have set a goal to raise $150,000 for this year’s Walk. A lot can happen in the next two weeks, and we are confident that we can get there with the participation and support of our whole community. I’ll end this blog post with an invitation– be a part of this. Get involved. I promise you won’t regret it! The next two weeks are going to be key for hitting our goal. Join a team. Register to walk solo. Donate. Sponsor. Let’s make this our biggest walk yet! 🧡

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