Rockland County, NY - Virtual Fitness Challenge To Raise Funds For Chesed Rooms In Local Hospitals
Spring Valley, NY - While biking challenges, obstacle courses and other physical feats of endurance have become popular fundraising vehicles in the Jewish community in recent years, a Rockland County based organization is turning to a high-tech, low impact model that allows participants at all fitness levels to combine physical activity and philanthropy.
Step Up 4 Chesed is a project of Chesed 24/7, best known for stocking hospitality rooms with kosher foods and other conveniences at over a dozen area hospitals.
A 24 day virtual walking challenge running on the Charity Footprints platform that links charitable giving to exercise in an effort to promote healthy living, Step Up 4 Chesed provides participants with a limited Edition Chesed 24/7 Fitbit activity trackers that will monitor their daily steps and other activity as they walk their way to their individual or group goals.
Walkers commit to raising a minimum of $360 for Chesed 24/7 as part of Step Up 4 Chesed which runs from August 15th through September 8th. Participants sync their tracker to the Step Up 4 Chesed website and commit to one of four walking challenges of varying difficulty. Daily activity is synced to each participant’s donor page, allowing sponsors to monitor their progress.
Step Up 4 Chesed is the brainchild of D’vora Adler, Chesed 24/7’s community outreach and events coordinator.
“We wanted something that would raise awareness for Chesed 24/7 that would also be fun, exciting and healthy,” Mrs. Adler told VIN News. “The goal was to create a campaign that wouldn’t be exclusive because of the cost. Anyone can either pay or raise the $360 and can participate in this great activity.”
The response to the program has been so positive that all 300 Fitbits originally ordered for Step Up 4 Chesed have been shipped out to walkers in Brooklyn, Monsey, Kiryas Joel, New Square, Far Rockaway, Lakewood, Passaic, Connecticut and Toronto. Extra Fitbits are currently on order to meet the demand of last minute registrants.
The fitness challenge has drawn men, women and children of all ages.
“We had one 11 year old boy, our youngest participant, going door to door to raise money because he really wanted to sign up,” said Mrs. Adler.
The oldest walker signed up so far for is a 70 year old grandmother from Monsey.
Prizes will be awarded for top finishers and biggest fundraisers at the Step Up 4 Chesed finale to be held at Bison & Bourbon on September 11th.
“We have bungalow colonies who are competing against each other,” said Mrs. Adler. “Everyone can see how everyone else is doing by checking the site.”
Step Up 4 Chesed’s flexibility, allowing people to get in their walking time in the way that best fits their schedules, has contributed to its success, according to Mrs. Adler.
“We have plenty of individuals who have signed up to do this on their own but we also have 29 groups who have registered, including one that has about 20 people,” said Mrs. Adler. “We even had one mother who was so excited about this that she signed up five people, two of her two daughters and three of their friends.”
In addition to maintaining 18 dedicated rooms at hospitals in Manhattan, the Bronx, New Jersey, Rockland County and the Catskills, Chesed 24/7 also offers hospital shuttles, community medicine chests, a medical equipment gamach and special programs for seniors and the developmentally disabled.
Registration for Step Up 4 Chesed runs through August 11th. To sign up visit www.stepup4chesed.org.
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