Elm Staff Writer
The sisters of Alpha Chi Omega Beta Pi chapter at Washington College are holding their annual philanthropic event, Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes asynchronously.
“Every year, we host [Walk-A-Mile] to raise money for Midshore Council on Family Violence, the local domestic violence resource center…Alpha Chi has done this event for as long as I can remember,” AXO sister senior Samantha Robinson said.
Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence is a non-profit organization that “creates healthy opportunities to break the cycle of domestic violence through intervention and prevention; by supporting victims as they move from crisis through transition to becoming survivors; and by changing society’s attitudes and systems which permit and promote such violence,” according to their website, MSCFV.org.
Junior Holly Williams AXO’s vice president of Philanthropy focuses on donor outreach, advertising, and coordinating events “aligned with [AXO’s] values of educating the general public through ways that affirm every survivor’s story.”
Robinson said this is her first year participating in Walk-A-Mile and she’s “really enjoyed getting involved with [AXO’s] philanthropy this year and raising money for domestic violence awareness. Besides sharing Walk-A-Mile information on social media, I helped organize tabling in Hodson this week to publicize this event to the campus community.”
Walk-A- Mile is an event open not only to the AXO sisters, but the whole campus as well as the Chestertown community. Everyone gathers on campus and takes a one-mile march down High Street, typically in heels.
“We raise awareness for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence with banners, signs, and clothing. Typically, this coincides with survivors telling their stories in an open-mic format. We are virtual this year but looking to incorporate as many of our traditions online,” Williams said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AXO had to reimagine Walk-A-Mile, which includes shifting their “open-mic format” where survivors can share stories, to a virtual installation.
Williams said “individuals are welcomed to share their stories of survival on an anonymous platform. This website will continue indefinitely, and function as a safe platform for survivors to tell their stories.”
The virtual installation opens this weekend, and a link will emailed to the entirety of the WC student body.
“Since most people aren’t on campus right now, we had to adjust. This year, sisters will be walking in their own communities, and we encourage others to do the same; participants can order their own apparel through our fundraiser to support the cause,” Robinson said.
The sisters of AXO plan to take photos and videos of themselves wearing apparel, walking in heels in their own communities to help raise money and awareness, which will be uploaded onto AXO’s Instagram page @wacaxobetapi.
In order to raise money, the sisters of AXO are selling t-shirts and crewnecks, with this year’s Walk-A-Mile design. AXO is also accepting donations. All proceeds and donations will go directly to Mid-Shore.
To donate you can visit https://www.customink.com/fundraising/walk-a-mile-21
Featured Photo caption: AXO’s Walk-A-Mile table, set up in Hodson to help raise awareness about the fundraiser. Photo Courtesy of Samantha Robinson.