Annual Steps to Make a Difference Walk has a $2,000 match this year

top-difference-walkThere aren’t many student-run charity walks that can boast raising more than $45,000 in five years. But the UW-Green Bay Steps to Make a Difference Walk can claim just that.

This year’s annual walk will be held on Saturday, April 11 beginning at 10 a.m. and starting at the Mauthe Center. The walk, organized by the Phoenix Philanthropy Club, helps to raise funds for local nonprofit organizations and encourages the UW-Green Bay community to step up and help others. This year the Club has a matching gift opportunity of $2,000 from the Giving 2.0 Foundation in California — one of only six pilot chapters of University chapters in the U.S. to receive the gift match.

All proceeds go to local organizations. This year’s nonprofits are House of Hope, Live 54218, My Team Triumph, and Kenya Help. The cost is $15 for students older than 12 and $25 for non-students with an early bird discount for those who register prior to April 6. Kids under 12 walk for free.

The walk winds along the campus perimeter through the Arboretum trails for two miles, before ending at the Mauthe Center for refreshments.

This walk is part of the larger Make a Difference Day, held annually in October. While this year’s walk will be held in April, it encourages the same idea: get involved and help others.

“It’s important to get these nonprofits out there,” said Stephanie Krupski, co-chair of the Steps Walk planning committee, “I didn’t know two of the nonprofits before this, so it’s great to get their names out there and raise money for them and awareness.”

The Steps to Make a Difference Walk began in 2002 when the Public and Nonprofit Management Class originally designed and implemented the walk. The walk has garnered national attention and was a USA Weekend finalist for the Make a Difference award.

The guiding principle of the walk is to give 100 percent of the donations made by walkers to the nonprofit organizations. This year, the Steps Walk received a matching gift from the Giving 2.0 organization.

“Anything raised up to $2000 is matched,” said Krupski. “That is our ideal, but we’re always shooting for the stars.”

While local nonprofits benefit, students do as well. Each year, the walk involves more than two dozen student organizations, providing opportunities for more than 200 students to give back to the community.

The walk is entirely student run, providing students with leadership opportunities and a way to gain experience that can help them succeed in the future. Since 2002, more than a dozen students involved with the walk have gone into entry-level management positions of nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Many students also note the event as memorable on the alumni survey and return to complete the walk after graduation.

“I think it’s just an awesome opportunity to be involved in as a student, and it’s important to my career aspirations and my goals as well,” said Krupski, “I think it’s cool that we have some freshmen involved in it. It’s been great to see their ambitions and aspirations blossom too.”

To register, visit Steps to Make a Difference Walk.

Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication

Photos submitted