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Dhaan Walkathon

Sourashtra Dhaan Walkathon is a youth-driven community event across North America.

The objectives are :

Promoting walking for healthier lifestyles

Giving back to the community by raising funds to help underprivileged students achieve academic success. All proceeds will be used to offer scholarships through Sourashtra Dhaan Organization’s Scholarships program.

How does this walkathon work?

Sourashtra Walkathon is a fun community event designed for the community to come together and participate in a 2-mile walking trail. The coordinating youths choose the date/time/location in the given area.

Participants must register for the walkathon by the RSVP date and pay the registration fee. Then, they will assemble and start walking as a group on the event day. There will be refreshments provided. There will be fun games along the way along with prizes for winners.

Who is organizing the walkathon?

Youths from various North American cities are hosting the walkathon with support from their parents.

What are the benefits to the youths organizing the event?

Youths get to learn and enjoy the process of organizing a community event! First, the event fosters the virtue of giving back to the community!

They learn the skills necessary for their professional growth. Some examples are:

  • Team working skills
  • Organizing skills
  • Digital designs (flyer, video, etc)
  • Publicity

Additionally, they earn volunteer hours offered by Sourashtra Dhaan Organization.

How to get started?

If you would like to host a walkathon, here are the steps to follow:

  • Obtain permission from your parent
  • Decide a location that has a walking trail.
  • Public parks are great choices.
  • Decide a date/time that would work for most community members.
  • Give yourself at least two weeks to plan. Weekend generally works best for most people.
  • Using the flyer template, create a new flyer with your date/location/name
  • Create a registration form to capture the participant details.
  • Plan games, awards, and refreshments for the walkathon.  Suggestion: Use signup genius sheets for healthy refreshments for prize planning.
  • Start publicity

How do I do publicity?

Your local Sourashtra group may have a Whatsapp group or email distribution. That would be the first option. Then, anytime you meet any Sourashtra families and friends before the event (e.g. birthday parties, etc), explain the walkathon and encourage them to register. There may be a Facebook page for your city as well. Use all avenues to ensure that the community members become aware of the event so that they can show their support.

How to collect and track registration fees/donations?

You may either electronic methods as below:

  • Online (Paypal/Credit/Debit) – Preferred option. The alternative URL is through dhaan.org website and click on Donate Now and choose Walkathon project.
  • Regional leads collecting and pooling the funds for direct visibility.
  • Zelle to treasurer@dhaan.org

If you are asking for the Transaction ID on the registration form, you may use that as a way to validate the payment. Transaction ID is a 17-digit number which looks like 20719549844958797. Zelle is the alternative way to pay. Transaction/Confirmation from Zelle is an alphanumeric 9-digit code which looks like z5q1t1vj9.

You also have the option to collect money on the parents bank account (paypal/zelle/electronic transfer) and make a bulk donation to Dhaan, whichever works best.

Game Ideas (keep social distancing in mind)

  • Sack race
  • Egg and spoon race
  • Kickball

Suggestions for the event

Bring additional beverages and heavier snacks; prepare for people hanging out longer

Amazon gift cards are preferable due to their universal use

Check for the following that may impact your walkathon

  • Check the location the day before to ensure there is no other major event
  • Weather
  • Have a poster board that explains the purpose of the walkathon
  • Think about a color theme for the event.
  • Beverage stand ideas — you may choose to sell them for nominal price
      • Lemonade
      • Tea or Coffee
      • Buttermilk (Dhein Pani)
      • Bagged Popcorn
      • Popsicle
      • Raffle ticket (1 for each $x donation) for a prize

Lessons learned

  • Start planning ahead of time (few month’s lead time would be helpful)
  • Publicity – Youths need coaching from parents on approaching others and inviting them to the walkathon
  • Plan for merchandise ahead of time
  • Messaging for the next year to be mainstream — helping underprivileged students through Dhaan
  • Be cognicient of delays in starting walking. Specify the start time for walking in the publicity message..


Dhaan Walkathon Benefits