Frequently Asked Questions
+ What is the Winter Walk?
The Winter Walk is an initiative raising awareness and funds to help end homelessness in Greater Boston. This year, proceeds benefit 5 partner organizations you can learn more about here. We will also bring together a number of Greater Boston's incredible homeless service programs to share more info on the powerful work being done in our city. The Walk is a gathering of 1,000 participants on February 10, 2019 to partake in a 2 mile walk outdoors followed by a community breakfast and presentation on Copley Square Plaza.
+ When is the Winter Walk?
February 9, 2020. Registration opens on Copley Plaza at 8:30am and the walk welcome and step off begin at 9am. The event will end by 11am.
+ How are the fundraising monies used by The Winter Walk?
All proceeds from participants and walk donors will be used to support our partner organizations, in the form of unrestricted funding they will receive to support critical needs and programs.
+ Where is The Winter Walk and what is the Walk route?
Partipants will register and start from Copley Square Plaza in Boston. From there, we will walk 2 miles, starting down Boylston Street, then around The Public Garden, through Boston Common, and back to Copley via Beacon Street to Arlington Street and up St. James. It's about 2 miles of walking. Here's a map! Parking is available nearby. Directions and parking guide here.
+ How do I register for The Winter Walk?
Registration for 2020 will open this fall. Participants can register as individuals, or set up a team to walk with friends, colleagues, and more. You can always add more members to a team. Individuals can also register multiple people at once, such as family or friend groups. The registration fee is $100 per person walking, and you can choose to pay up front or fundraise your fee. There are discounted registrations for youth and students. Children 5 and under can join parents at no cost, but need to be registered as well. If the registration fee is not an option for you, please reach out and we'll make sure you find a way to walk. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
While not required, we welcome all participants who are walking to do additional fundraising for The Winter Walk (every dollar makes an impact, and we can help you with resources to fundraise!). We have a fundraising guide here to help and resources to help you learn more about some of the issues arond homelessness.
All participants of all ages are required to review our liability waiver and accept the terms. Parents/guardians can read and accept on behalf of participants under 18 years of age.
+ Is there a cut-off date to register?
No! You can register online until 6pm on Saturday, February 8th, and then register in person at the event on February 9th. Just be sure that you come at 8:30am to register if you haven't signed up in advance. We will ask if you are able to make a $100 contribution for registration (for adults), or you can get info on how to fundraise after the event and contribute. Registration can be found here.
+ What do I get with my registration fee?
The Registration fee provides the opportunity to participate in The Winter Walk, along with a warm and cozy Winter Walk beanie with our logo (you will receive this on the day of the event at the registration table). The fee also provides the community breakfast after the walk as well as the incredible opportunity to hear stories from our partners and the homeless community of Boston. If you pay up front, your fee is tax deductible, or all donations towards your fee or fundraissing goal are tax deductible to your donors.
+ Is there a fundraising minimum?
If you are fundraising your fee rather than paying up front, we ask that each adult participant fundraise $100, and that youth and students raise $50. Every contribution makes an impact. Each participant is encouraged but not required to raise additional funds in an effort to make strides towards our common goal of ending homelessness in Boston. A goal could be to double the amount of your registration fee, or to raise as much as $500 or more. Every effort is incredible. And we can help you reach your goal! Check out our fundraising guide here, and please reach out for any additional help!
+ How do I fundraise?
Our guide to fundraising is downloadable here, and it has plenty of resources to help you! We are working with Classy, a wonderful fundraising platform that helps you reach out to people to help contribute to the cause. And all the donations received are tax deductible to your donors. You can set up your Classy fundraising page as an Individual or a Team when you sign up. You can customize this page as much or as little as you want. But the system makes it easy to reach out and raise funds and awareness.
+ Will donors receive tax documentation for their donations?
Yes! All donations that your supporters give towards your participation in the walk are fully tax deductible. All your donors will receive tax documentation, via email or letter, for their gifts.
+ What is The Winter Walk's tax ID number?
The Winter Walk is sponsored under the umbrella of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization (EIN 04-3160480) that is one of our partners. Your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
+ Can I start a team?
Yes! When you click register you can select an individual or team option. If you choose team, you can create your own group of friends, family, co-workers and beyond! You can invite more people to join your team, the program makes it easy to share with people through many channels. If you are walking as a team, please set a location on Copley Square to meet your fellow walkers. We encourage teams to attend the walk and show team pride - wear matching scarves, carry signs, decorate and have fun. But no pressure, just being there together is what we're most excited about!
+ Does everyone on my team have to raise a certain amount?
While we encourage every adult participant to raise or contribute $100, and every youth or student to raise or contribute $50, a team can set a group goal that everyone works towards together. Anyone raising funds that joins the team can work towards that goal, through donations to their individual fundraising pages or through the team page. We never want a registration fee to be a barrier to participation, so all should sign up to walk and do their best.
+ Can I transfer my registration, register on behalf of someone else, or give a registration as a gift?
Yes, registrations can be transferred or given as gifts. In the event of a transfer, the actual participant in the walk must provide us with their contact information and sign our liability waiver.
+ Can I cancel my registration and get a refund?
Unfortunately, we cannot cancel or refund your registration fee. If you can't Walk with us, consider instead donating the fee to The Winter Walk and your tax deductibility is the full $100. You can still receive your Winter Walk hat with a registration, we'll send it to you if you have to miss the Walk.
+ I don't want to walk, how can I help?
There are many ways to help The Winter Walk. You can help spread the word, share our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can visit the sites of our partner organizations and help share their incredible work. You can volunteer to help with our walk, or better yet, volunteer to help the many service organizations in and around Boston! You can also make a donation to The Winter Walk here.
+ What should I wear to The Winter Walk?
Please wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes for walking. The Winter Walk takes place rain, snow, or shine (unless it's a state of emergency, but we're hopeful that won't happen). Participants should be prepared for very cold weather and possible inclement conditions. We have some extra disposable ponchos and hand warmers for you, but come prepared! The time outside will be about 2 hours for the full event.
+ Will there be lavatories? Warming stations?
There will be a limited number of portable lavatories onsite, including an accesible lavatory. There will be a limited number of small warming stations. Please wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes for walking. The Winter Walk takes place rain, snow, or shine.
+ How do I get there on February 10th?
The event starts and ends on Copley Square, at 560 Boylston Sreet. The event happens over the entire plaza. Look for the large registration tent that opens at 8:30am, check in when you arrive for your walk gear and info, then head towards the stage for our welcome and step off at 9am. For information on how to get there by public transport or by car, visit our directions page.
+ Can I bring a stroller?
Yes, please feel free to bring strollers if it helps with walking with little ones! Just be aware we may be walking on sidewalks, rather than closing down streets. So we will be close to each other when walking on public streets, as well as crossing public and active streets along the way. We'll have volunteers there to help!
+ Can I bring my dog?
We love dogs! If they are good in crowds and cold, and can walk within our route safely with others, including small children, then sure! If not, we think it might be best to leave them home, unless they are service dogs. Just to note, we may be walking on sidewalks. So we will be close to each other when walking on public streets, as well as crossing public and active streets along the way.