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HopeChest gets pitched a lot of ideas for fundraising. One of the more interesting and fun projects we participated in was HELL WALK. Sounds cheery, right?
Hell Walk is the creation of Josh Tate. Originally scribbled on a napkin at his neighborhood bar, Josh wanted to combine an extreme event, an absurd idea, and a great cause.
Extreme event: Walk for 24 hours straight.
Absurd idea: Walk for 24 hours around a 100-foot track made of drywall sheets.
Great cause: Walk for 24 hours around a 100-foot track made of drywall sheets to raise money that would help orphans and widows in Swaziland and Russia.
“It was completely nuts,” said Matthew Monberg, our Director of “Crazy Projects Like Hell Walk.” “I loved it from the first phone call with Josh because he was going to show the absurdity of poverty. Josh trained to walk in a circle for 24 hours. People who are trapped by extreme poverty just walk through that hell every day. It was very effective at introducing people to the idea that there are women and children across Africa who walk for hours each day just to get water. “
A portion of the Hell Walk 1 funds were dedicated to a microenterprise project at one of our Swaziland CarePoints. HopeChest had been donated several looms by the government, looms that the women of the CarePoint could use to make and sell rugs to supplement their income.
But they needed a safe place for them to be housed. An indoor workshop to protect the equipment, and facilitate the weaving process.
Hell Walk provided 100% of the funding to complete this project. According to our field team:
The building project is complete and 3 looms have been moved in. Now, the approximately 10 women who will be utilizing them to make rugs are further empowered and will have the opportunity to do so in a protected space….this building is self-sustaining and also provides the space and opportunity for other women to participate in income generating activities (handicrafts, etc.) to further support themselves and their community.
From Josh Tate’s Hell Walk Blog: I just wanted to thank all of you again who supported the first Hell Walk. It’s hard to believe that what we all did last year has resulted in the construction of a building on another continent thousands of miles away that is going to help a community of people live better lives tomorrow than they have today. It’s really a great thing, and I am immensely thankful to all of you for it.
Josh is back this year with Hell Walk 2! A 100-mile walk to raise $50,000 to provide college scholarships for the children of U.S. servicemen and women who were killed in action. Read more about Josh & Hell Walk 2 here. Follow him on Twitter. Or Like Hell Walk on Facebook.
Thanks again Josh, and we wish you all the best with Hell Walk 2 and your mission to help children in the U.S. who have lost parents to wars and armed conflict.
Loom Project Photos: