Alzheimer’s Family Support Center Hosts 5 by 5 Virtual Walk

BREWSTER – The Alzheimer’s Family Support Center has launched its 5 by 5 Virtual Walk for Alzheimer’s to raise money for their services and awareness for families with members who are suffering from the disease.

The campaign invites people to walk around their homes or neighborhoods and donate $5 to the organization, then invite five others to participate, as well.

Melanie Braverman, co-founder and Cultural Director of the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center, said that the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to do their usual, community-driven yearly events.

“We do our fundraising partly by doing large community events. We do that so we have an excuse to bring a lot of people together,” said Braverman.

“Alzheimer’s communities tend to be very isolated, so we make these big public events so people can come together, eat together, walk together, dance together, and generally have fun. Obviously, right now, that is not something we are able to do.”

Braverman said that the Alzheimer’s communities are especially impacted by the pandemic, as their usual activities and ability to meet with loved ones have been severely restricted by COVID-19 health guidelines.

“We were trying to figure out how we can continue to create community and get people together so they don’t feel quite as isolated during this unprecedented time as they might otherwise, and also, meet this incredible shortfall in funding that we’re looking at.”

Braverman said that a third of their operating budget comes from yearly walks that have been cancelled by the organization which made their free services difficult to maintain, leading to the 5 by 5 idea’s inception.

“We now know that people really need these services, now kind of more than ever. So we’ve been thinking creatively on how we can continue this funding stream and do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardize people’s health, that’s still a virtual community event,” said Braverman.

Braverman said that they want to have participants share their progress on social media and with the organization to help create a community atmosphere.

“Take a little picture of yourself. Take a little video. We do these daily email blasts that go out to 5,000 people. We want to put them up on the computer so that everyone can see them. See them participating in this really great thing and understand that all the money is all going to provide free services for this community,” said Braverman.

Braverman said that the 5 by 5 virtual walk will help fund ways to get Alzheimer’s patients, support groups, and family members in contact with one another using technology like Zoom meetings on tablets supplied to the patients.

Those who want to register for the 5 by 5 or get information about the services provided by AFSC can reach the organization at (508) 896-5170, email support@capecodalz.org, or visit www.alzheimerscapecod.org.

The 5 by 5 event will continue until June 13.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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