Coronavirus Information Report

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Back in February, I wrote about the Humane Society of Charlotte moving its annual Pet Palooza Fundraising Walk and Festival to Southside Park. That was when we thought we’d be going to all sorts of events this spring. Things have changed.

Last week, I received an email from the Humane Society with an update on the 2020 event. According to the announcement, they have decided to change it to a Virtual Vendor Fair and Fundraising Walk. It’s now called Pet Palooza REROUTED.

There won’t be a gathering at Southside Park, in accordance with the “Stay at Home” order. Instead, supporters are asked to sign up as virtual walkers and help raise funds for the Humane Society of Charlotte. Then participants and their pets will walk one mile in their own neighborhoods beginning at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 25th. The online component of Pet Palooza REROUTED will include a Virtual Vendor Village and other events presented via Facebook Live. They even made new t-shirts.

The Humane Society isn’t the only non-profit forced to adjust its plans. On a recent run through Plaza Midwood, I saw a yard sign promoting AIDS Walk Charlotte 2020. The annual fundraising event for RAIN will also be virtual this year. The walk had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 2nd. In its virtual form, it’s now an ongoing effort to raise money that has been extended through May 31st.

Organizations of all types and sizes are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Non-profits may be especially hard hit as unemployment continues to grow. If you had already planned to participate in an event, such as Pet Palooza or the AIDS Walk, please consider honoring that commitment as your finances allow. While most of our attention is on the coronavirus now, the other needs of our community will still be there after we come through this difficult time.

And you know what? You can still walk for your favorite cause. Post a selfie or short video of yourself walking in your neighborhood and caption it with something like, “I’m walking to support ____” or “I’m walking in honor of ____.” If you’re able, please make a donation as well. The funds you help raise are greatly appreciated now and vital for the future.