After 24 years, Fannie Mae last year announced it would no longer hold its popular annual pre-Thanksgiving Help the Homeless Walk on the National Mall, instead opting for a series of “mini-walks” in local communities.
That caused concern for some, who saw the highly visible event that raised more than $90 million for area homeless programs as a much-needed fundraising boost as homelessness grows.
So far, Bethesda homelessness nonprofit Bethesda Cares has been able to manage the loss of the event with its own series of walks. The group has brought in $4,290 to date, according to finance and administrative manager Linda Caplan.
On Sunday, Bethesda Cares received a number of walk-up donations at its Bethesda Homeless Walk at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
There are other events scheduled, including an “Exercise for a Cause” program at Rock Creek Sports Club (8325 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring). Participants can make a donation for a free, three-day pass to the club.
There is also a mini-walk scheduled for Oct. 28 at the Bethesda Cares offices (7728 Woodmont Ave.). The Bethesda United Methodist Church is sponsoring the walk.
Caplan said she expects the total amount of donations to increase. The online goal for Sunday’s walk was $500.
Bethesda Cares provides eviction prevention, a meal program, clothing closet and psychological services for the as many as 72 homeless people in Bethesda, and others facing financial difficulty.
For more information, visit the Bethesda Cares website.