I remember sitting around the table as we planned our next event in collaboration with The Combined Fund Drive. It was August, and we had just completed our summer stair challenge. Over a thousand faculty and staff participated. Because of that success, we decided to plan another one — but this time for a cause. I did the math: If we could reach almost a thousand climbers again, and if everyone gave just $10, we could raise $10,000. Our eyes got wide as we thought about the nonprofit. Facing Homelessness.
Congratulations, University of Washington. We came together on November 18 at lunch time and exceeded the goal of $10,000 for Facing Homelessness. In addition to the fundraising accomplishment, we had over 280 UW faculty and staff average 1,200 stairs each. This equals climbing the Space Needle twice!
The Whole U and The Combined Fund Drive celebrated at the UW Tower, UW Medical Center, UW Tacoma, and South Lake Union giving out prizes, cheering on the stair climbers, and sharing the awareness of Facing Homelessness. Together we climbed over 300,000 stairs.
“My colleagues and I participated in the first UW Stair Challenge a few months ago,” said Stanley Sunday, a program operations specialist from nursing. “Since then, we have established a regular routine of climbing the BB Tower stairs (20 flights) three times a week, up and down TWICE. So, these challenges definitely influenced lifestyle changes for us, and we continue to encourage other staff members to participate in these events. The Face the Homeless stair event was even more fun due to high levels of participation, the swag, the cheerleaders, photos, and the raffle table. I look forward to the next Whole U event.”
Eric Dent, conference coordinator, housing & food services, commented: “It feels great to help the homeless and my legs are still screaming at me.”
To date, the UW has climbed over a million stairs in 2015, and we look forward to hosting more challenges that allow us to come together for a good cause. Congratulations, UW!
“We have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown by the UW employees at this event and look forward to a continued partnership as together we address the issues of those living on the streets in our shared neighborhood.” – Rex Hohlbein, Founder of Facing Homelessness