In two weeks time we will undertake our fourth, what has become annual fundraiser. WalkTheWalk23 will take place on the 1st July, a 50km walk around the peak district. It has proved to be a really successful fundraiser for us. Raising over £10,000 over three walks, giving us lots of exposure over social media, and giving people the chance to take an active part in the work of KVL.
When the idea came to us 3 years ago to start this event I was surrounded by images on the news of thousands of refugees or internally displaced families, men women and children walking in long lines, with all they could carry, in the hope of travelling to a place of refuge or safety. In some small way, taking part in the WalkTheWalk gave us an opportunity to make a choice to come together and walk a challenging walk, in solidarity and support for those nameless faces on our TV's, whose walk was not necessarily a choice they wanted to make.
Those faces however are not nameless. They are people who have left behind all they know, physical possessions, memories, special places. We at KVL have worked, and continue to work hard to ensure that these people are known and seen, that they know their lives have a value and a purpose, and if only from a distance, they feel loved and lifted up in prayer.
For the first time, this year I feel a little downhearted. Like the challenge feels bigger than ever. I wonder if we have become immune to the news of people dying whilst trying to cross the sea, political unrest in the middle east, children being denied access to health care and education. So much that is happening around the world is not even deemed newsworthy, or comes and goes from our screens.
Numbers of people taking part in the walk this year are our lowest yet, meaning that our fundraising target is the lowest also. I'm not sure if compassion fatigue is a thing, but there has certainly been a shift in the willingness to support or take part in activities to support the work of not only ours but other charity missions. With less then two weeks to go, our fundraising total is less than £100 of a £5000 target.
This isn't a plea for your financial support (although feel free if you are able) but more a reminder that the need still exists! When you turned your TV off, those people carried on walking. When the newspaper decided that people dying whilst fleeing persecution wasn't newsworthy, parents still decided that the boat was worth the risk. People are still being trafficked and abused, children are still being given guns and schools still remain unsafe - even if the media doesn't have space to print it!
Our mission might not be the same as yours. We might not be a charity you feel compelled to support - but there are others. There is a world outside your window. I urge you not to close your front door to it. Where are you needed? Where can you make a difference? What can you do?
Across the globe people have been forced to leave their homes, who will be next?
This isn't a time to sit and wait, maybe you need to seek the need out, go and find it! It doesn't need to be much to make a big different. Can we be a society of people who don't just have good intentions - can we stop talking the talk and try walking the walk!?
Support us here 💜 https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/walkthewalk23