Virtual Walk Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this year’s walk a virtual event?
- The health and safety of our families, volunteers, and staff is our first priority. Due to the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the crowd size at our Awareness Walks in the past, we’ve decided to go virtual in 2020. This was not an easy decision. Although we will not be together for a family festival this year, we can’t wait to see you celebrating with us on social media! We are virtually inseparable!
What is a virtual event?
- DSAW-Fox Cities' Virtual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk will be a months-long celebration of our friends with Down syndrome and related disabilities. Join our Statewide QuaranTeam! In the months leading up to Walk Day on September 27, we will host online contests, giveaways, live videos, a virtual 21 Showcase, and more! Check the State Facebook page every Friday at 2pm for challenge updates and winners! During the month of September, we will do a month-long virtual party – each day is a different activity, challenge, or contest for your family! On Sunday, September 27, you can join us online for a virtual awards ceremony and inspiring program...then stay tuned! We will continue to evaluate limited in person activities or meet ups as the response to the pandemic unfolds. Make sure you follow the DSAW State Facebook page and so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
How do I participate in a virtual walk?
- There are several ways to participate. First, make sure you register as a participant to be eligible for all of our prizes and giveaways! As part of registration, you can purchase this year’s t-shirt to wear on Walk Day. You can donate to DSAW, encourage fundraising, participate in our social media challenges, and share our virtual event with your friends. Use #DSAWVirtualWalk to stay connected! Visit the State Facebook page every Friday at 2pm for challenge updates and winners. On September 27, you can tune in for our pre-walk program and help us raise awareness of our loved ones with Down syndrome and related disabilities.
What’s the deal with t-shirts this year?
- T-shirts this year are optional. We know this is a time of financial uncertainty for many of us, so there is no event registration fee (which usually includes a t-shirt) for the event. You will need to purchase a t-shirt if you would like to receive one. Shirts are $10 each plus shipping and will be shipped directly to your home.
Do I have to register?
- We highly encourage registration! We want you to be a part of our Statewide QuaranTeam. By registering for this event, you will be eligible for our giveaways and prizes in the months leading up to the Walk. Registrants are able to purchase t-shirts, create teams, and fundraise. Top teams will receive AWESOME prizes!
Is there a registration fee?
- There is no registration fee to sign up for our Virtual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk. T-shirts are for sale for $10 each plus shipping. Our Awareness Walk is our biggest fundraiser and accounts for much of our organization’s income. We ask every walker to consider making a personal donation and/or commit to raising funds and awareness to help sustain our organization during this pandemic and beyond.
Why form a team?
- It's the perfect way to celebrate your loved one with Down syndrome, and you get to participate in the BIGGEST Down Syndrome Awareness party in Wisconsin! Your team can be as large or as small as you want. Plus, your fundraising changes lives. Although fundraising is optional, the difference you make in the lives of more than 5,500 familiess across the state is tremendous. Whether you raise $10 or $10,000, YOU are making a difference for people with Down syndrome and their families in Wisconsin. Remember, fundraising does not have to be scary! Most people are happy to give to a cause that is important to you and your family.
How do I recruit team members?
- Make a list of people you know best - family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Ask the people on your list to join your team! You could ask them via email, social media, or phone. Explain why it's important to you and your family, and encourage your team to fundraise. Giving them a sample fundraising letter (see below for an idea!) and a picture of your loved one to send to their networks can be incredibly helpful. In addition, remind them that business sponsorships can count towards your team's total!! Ultimately, this process is not just about fundraising: it's about spreading awareness and acceptance of people with Down syndrome and related disabilities.
How do I raise funds?
- Fundraising is scary to many people, but it doesn't have to be! It can be as simple as sending an email or posting on social media. Try using this template to ask for donations from your friends and family:
This year, my family has formed a team for the 11th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk, which will be celebrated on Sunday, September 27. The Walk this year is mostly virtual, but we're doing a giant awareness car parade too! The goal of the Walk is to spread awareness and acceptance of Down syndrome throughout Wisconsin, and to raise funds for the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin's life-changing programs and services. DSAW has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need your support of this year's Awareness Walk more than ever! As you may know, this cause is very important to us. [insert personal story]
Would you consider joining our team and/or making a donation to support our team and [insert name of loved one with Down syndrome]? Your donation will have a large impact on thousands of lives in Wisconsin. Please forward this email to your friends and family, too! In addition, if your business would be interested in sponsoring the walk, the funds will count towards our team's total! Visit https://secure.qgiv.com/event/dsawfc20/sponsors/ to download sponsorship benefits.
Use this link to join our team and make a donation: [insert personal link]
Thank you for supporting Down syndrome awareness! [Your name]”
I would like to learn about sponsorship opportunities. How do I get in touch with someone?
- Great! Thank you for your interest. If you would like to talk more about sponsorship opportunities, you can email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will this virtual event mean for the future of DSAW?
- The DSAW- Fox Cities Down Syndrome Awareness Walk is the biggest fundraiser of the year. We need your support this year more than ever to help us through this pandemic! We rely on the generosity of individuals, teams, sponsors, and our community to provide you with life-changing programs and services all year long. We will make it through this together! We can’t wait to see you at our walk in 2021!