HARWICH – The Mini Love Walk returned last week, raising twice as much as anticipated to help local families pay for childcare and preschool.
After two years of COVID-19 virtual fundraising, pre-school kids were walking on the Sisson Road sidewalk once again, raising funds for The Children’s Center.
The Children’s Center is the pre-school program established by Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing (HECH) to provide full-day educational and socialization opportunities and childcare for working families until the kids are ready to go to kindergarten.
The center at 115 Sisson Rd. has been in operation for 29 years. Director Abigail Newberry-West said the Mini Love Walk started about 19 years ago when she and the late Bob Murray, the longtime president of HECH, organized the first walk from the old fire station to the First Congregational Church of Harwich Center. Murray was also the organizer of the Love Walk that started in Provincetown and ended in Falmouth for many years which raised money to address housing needs on the Cape.
The mini walk this year had a goal of $11,000, $500 for each of the 21 children attending the center. The money goes directly to providing affordable childcare for local families and children, Newberry-West said.
On Tuesday, July 19, the pre-school children were joined by a group of HECH volunteers for the walk. The HECH group began at Mooncussers Tavern and joined the youngsters at The Children’s Center for the walk to Harwich Center. More than 50 people participated in the walk, said Newberry-West. The Harwich Police Department provided an escort.
Upon arriving at the church, the group was treated to lunch. Pizza Shark donated pizza and Cape Roots Market provided sandwich platters for the walkers, Newberry-West said.
The walk far exceeded its fundraising goal. Newberry-West said one woman provided a check for $10,000 to help double the goal. The event ended up raising $23,000, and Newberry-West said there is still money coming in.
Donations can be made to The Children’s Center, 115 Sisson Rd., Harwich Port, MA 02646.