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Walk4Williams 2020: #EverywhereWSA

Our Virtual #Walk4Williams, #EverywhereWSA, is crucial to the success of the Williams Syndrome Association this year. With the help of our families and friends, we hope to raise the critical funding to help today and throughout 2020 as we reimagine how we will provide resources and programming.
 
Thank you for joining us as we work together to provide brighter futures for every individual with Williams syndrome. 
 
*Downloadable/printable version of the Walk Playbook featured on this page. 
 
Create Your Team and Set Your Goal
Your first step is to sign up on the WSA walk page: wsawareness.org
One measurable way to set goals is to use numbers that represent Williams syndrome. You may have heard about the numbers 7 and 28, as Williams syndrome is caused by the deletion of genetic material from a specific region of chromosome 7. The deleted region includes approximately 28 genes, and researchers believe that a loss of several of these genes probably contributes to the characteristic features of individuals with Williams syndrome. So be creative! Your walk page is customizeable and a picture like Team Jackson's looks great! 
 

Team Size and Activity

For team size, strive to secure 7 team members (or 28 if you are ambitious). Ask your team members to find 7 donors (but don’t stop at seven if you have more who are interested!)
Next, establish a distance for your personal walk - Perhaps your very young child with WS will take 28 steps, an older youngster may walk 7 or 28 blocks, you may wish to walk 7 miles in a week or 28 miles in a month. Whatever works for you!
If you or any of your team members prefer biking, or kayaking, or running – that’s fine too! If you’d rather stay inside and use a treadmill, an elliptical or a cycle – those are all great options. This year, it is about being creative, staying safe, and having the opportunity to join us from EVERYWHERE in the USA.
 
This is your opportunity to increase awareness AND raise money for the WSA.
 

Setting Your Fundraising Goal

There is no minimum, but if you are able, we suggest $500 as a team goal. Five hundred dollars sounds like a lofty goal to some, but if you have 10 people donate $50 each or 20 people donate $25, you have reached your goal. Or you can think back to the #’s – 7 members, each donating or raising $70 = $490! 28 members each donating or raising $28 = $784! Check out the chart below to see how quickly your team to- tal and IMPACT can grow. Be sure to tell your own story and how the WSA has helped your child and family.
 
If 1000 families create a team with a $500 goal, and we all succeed, we will reach our goal for 2020. Some teams may fall short, others will exceed that amount, but as the WSA family, we all win.
 

Winning Combinations for Teams and Donation Sizes!

 

Sponsors

In the past, the WSA has been on the receiving end of many generous sponsorships ranging from $250 to thousands of dollars from local businesses. While many businesses have been impacted by the events across the country, they continue to support organizations like the Williams Syndrome Association. We hope we can count on their support this year! 
 
Here’s how you can help:
 
Prepare a letter for a local business (a place that knows you well or your workplace is a great place to start). Begin the letter with some background on WS and on how the WSA has helped you and families like yours. Explain the need and the programs their donation would be supporting. As you ask for the sponsorship, let them know that you will personally thank them, the WSA will thank them along with the other sponsors, and  if they are able to provide a specific amount (see below), their logo will be displayed on websites and social media. If you'd like to include the sponorship image in your letter, here is the pdf version to download. 
 
WSA Virtual Walk Sponsorship Levels
 
For a donation of $250, we will give you a shout out of thanks on social media and let our families in the area know that you helped
For $500, the WSA will also include your name in a listing of event donors in the quarterly newsletter delivered around the country
For $1000, your name and logo will be posted to the regional social media sites as a special thank you. The regional pages are seen by thousands across states within our region
For $2500, $5000 or $10,000, your logo will be also be posted on the Williams Syndrome Association’s team pages for everyone across the country to see, and you will be identified by the amount of your support.
 
The WSA is working on other meaningful ways to promote your sponsorship as well.

Sample Sponsor Letter

Dear X –
Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. There are more than 30,000 individuals with WS in the United States, and as many as 25-30% are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. The Williams Syndrome Association, a 501(c)3 organization, is the most comprehensive resource for people and families living with WS, as well as doctors, educators and researchers. WSA programs include educational and social events, camps, scholarships, financial assistance, research funding and much more.
 
Insert a brief personal story here about how your child or family has been helped by the WSA. Perhaps something like: We have been members of the WSA since our son, Ben was just 6 months old. Over the years they have helped us in many ways – recommending the right surgeon when he needed back surgery, providing the learning profile that teachers needed to help him in the classroom, and providing opportunities for us to meet and speak with other parents on similar journeys. The WSA has helped to make our journey a little easier and Ben’s future a lot brighter.
 
This has been a difficult year for the WSA as programming must be redesigned. As the events across the United States have changed schools and businesses, it is especially hard on the individuals with WS. They have very social personalities, with medical and educational challenges occurring in the majority. In this new era, camps, conferences, and awareness events have all been cancelled, and even hospitalizations for those with medical needs have looked very different and MUCH scarier.
 
It is for that reason that we need your help. The WSA relies on awareness events like our walks for critical program funding – the walks account for more than 80% of our funding for general operations. This year, our walk is virtual, being held in #EverywhereWSA. Families from around the country are staying safe and walking in a virtual event to be held Saturday, August 1. Teams will be created, and an opening event will promote individuals and families being active!
 
Can we count on you for support?
 
For a donation of $250, we will give you a shout out of thanks on social media and let our families in the area know that you supported
For $500, the WSA will also include your name in a listing of event donors in the quarterly newsletter delivered around the country
For $1000, your name and logo will be posted to the regional social media sites as a special thank you. The regional pages are seen by thousands across states within our region
For $2500, $5000 or $10,000, your logo will be also be posted on the Williams Syndrome Association’s team pages for everyone across the country to see, and you will be identified by the amount of your support.
 
The WSA is working on other meaningful ways to promote your sponsorship as well.
We appreciate any consideration you can offer and thank you for your support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
NAME ADDRESS PHONE / EMAIL
Checks can be made payable to the Williams Syndrome Association, 570 Kirts Blvd., Suite 223, Troy, MI 48084
 
With appreciation,
Your signature
 

Promoting Your Team and Creating Awareness

After you create your page on wsawareness.org, use the “Share” icons near the top right-hand side of the page. You can share to Facebook, Twitter or even send out emails. We suggest adding content to social media, giving your personal story and what the WSA means to you.
 
Use the hashtags: #EverywhereWSA #Walk4Williams #WSawareness #WilliamsSyndrome
 
THANK your donors – every one of them!
 
Often a shout out on social media will suffice – with your donor tagged. A sample suggestion: “Thank you aunt Susan Jones – your gift makes a tremendous difference to the WSA!”
 
Share your fundraising site in any way you can.
 
Some donors may like to send a check, and that is welcome. Please ask them make it payable to us and send it to:
Williams Syndrome Association
Virtual Walk/Team Name
570 Kirts Boulevard, Ste. 223 Troy, MI 48084 US
 
HAVE FUN and Thank you!