Why are we walking?
In 2015, modern slavery surpassed gun trafficking and is now the 2nd most profitable blackmarket enterprise in the world. Durga Tree International is even more committed to creating long-term, sustainable change in the area of anti-trafficking, and we need your help! Our theme this year is to Walk the Path of Hope, with the goal of moving programs forward to provide individuals around the world with the opportunity to dream, the opportunity to live a better life.
 
For the last four years,  Durga Tree International's Lacing Up For Freedom walkathon has raised funds that supported global initiatives to educate and economically empower survivors of Modern Slavery, enabling them to transform from survivor to thriver. We also work with communities to raise awareness about this growing epidemic.
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
 
1. How Do I Begin?
Just register here to become a walker! Once that is done, you can create & manage your own personal page, share your photos, set your goals & get sponsors. Want to donate a corporate sponsorship? Visit here for more information.
 
Can't join us in person in NJ?  Why not become a HOMETOWN HERO?  Walk in your hometown, create a team, raise funds and earn incentive prizes along the way.
 
2. What are the event registration levels, fees, and incentives?
When you register, you will be asked to select a specific entry category, especially whether you will be walking in person with us in Ridgewood or in your own area as a Hometown Hero. The categories are as follows:
  • Adult Walker - $35 fee
  • Youth/Student Walker - $20 fee
  • Canine Walker (must be accompanied by registered walker) - $15 fee
  • Child Walker (3yrs & under with no personal fundraising page, though you can pay for a t-shirt)
All walkers who raise at least $100 will receive, with their registration fee, a US made fair trade event T-Shirt (bandana for canine walkers), Water Bottle, and Backpack.
 
There are also prizes awarded for individual fundraising goals, even if you are part of a team, and the top earning walkers and team will receive a special prize the day of the walk.
 
3. What is the Walk Day Schedule?
The "Lacing Up for Freedom" event will be held rain or shine-
 
On Sat., May 19th - 1133 East Ridgewood Ave Ridgewood, NJ 07450
 
Registration & Light Breakfast:
8:30 am
Group Warm-up & stretch:
5mile Walk:
9:30 am
10:00 am 
Entertainment:
11:00 am to 1:30pm
            
4. How long is the walk? How long should it take me?
The walk will be approximately 5 miles total, 2.5 there and 2.5 back, along a comfortable and even leveled walking path. 
 
It could take you anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on your speed and whether you are walking or running. Afterwards, we would love for you to take some time to visit with our sponsors and enjoy some musical entertainment!
 
5. Where Can I Find a Course Map?
The event will start at the Wild Duck Pond in Ridgewood, and continue along the travel path until the turnaround at the Dunkerhook tennis courts. There are bathroom facilities, a dog park, and child play parks at this location. Click here for more information about each.
 
6. What types of giveaways will I be getting during the "Lacing Up for Freedom" event?
At the moment, the plan is to provide each registered walker with an event t-shirt, watter bottle, and backpack. This list may, of course, expand, depending on our event sponsors and what else is donated to the walkathon.
 
Prizes will also be given to top earners, in the category of Canine, Youth individual, Adult individual, and Team. The types of prizes will vary depending on earner and what is donated to the event.
 
NJ walkers can pick up their prizes at registration check-in on the morning of the walk.  (Note- there is a bathroom facility if you would like to change into your shirt before the event). For our Hometown Heroes, we will be distributing your prizes prior to the walk, so you have your goodies in time. 
 
7. How Can My Sponsors Submit Payment?
  • Send your personal page link to friends & family via email, Facebook, text or Instagram. 
    • From this page they can either choose to pay by credit card or check, they just need to simply follow the easy prompts. 
  • You can collect funds from people in person via cash, check or credit card by printing out our multi-donation form on the Walker Support Page. Have friends/family fill out their information and you can mail or drop off these collections to our office. Once entered, these donations will reflect on your personal walker page.
    • This model has been used by many organizations, such as the Girl Scouts and is an easy, fun way for youth walkers to fundraise with their parents.
  • Call in a donation.  Feel free to call our office between 9-4pm and we will gladly input a credit card donation for your sponsor.
  • Mail in your donation to Durga Tree International at 35A Wilson Dr., Sparta, NJ 07871
    • Be sure to include this printed form with information, just in case our staff has any questions.
  • Ask your company if they will match your fundraising goals or sponsor you. 
  • Think of the power of 10, ask 10 friends to sponsor you for $10 and you have already reached your first fundraising goal!  Ask 10 friends to sponsor you for $25 and you will reach your second prize level!  
8. Do I have to fundraise to participate in the walk?
Durga Tree's walk is a fundraising event.  We encourage all registrants to make every effort to raise as much money as possible for this very important cause.  We suggest a minimum fundraising goal of $250 but want you to have fun and feel good along the way, so we included prizes to celebrate all your commitment to the cause.  
 
If you've never raised money before, we provide tips and strategies on our walker support page.  Visit the Walker Support Page to get started!
 
9. What is the Difference Between Signing Up as a Team vs. an Individual Registration?
Signing up as a team is just a great way to have fun with friends while supporting a great cause TOGETHER! We will have a special recognition prize for the team that collectively raises the most in donations.
 
10. Is There a Refund Policy?
Sorry, donations are nonrefundable. However, please know that the funds you raised will forever change the lives of many.
 
11. Can I Bring My Young Children? 
YES!  This is a family event! You can bring strollers and wagons for the youngest walkers, the walking path is paved and an easy walk for every level of participant.  If you have a child that is too young to fundraise but who will be joining you on the journey, they must still be registered as a participant in this event.  You will have the option to choose the child ticket when registering yourself. For a fee of $15, you can also get them an event tshirt to wear on the walk.
 
12. What About Roller Blades and Bicycles?
For the safety of all participants, registrants are not allowed to roller blade and bike on the course.
 
13. Can I Bring My Pet to the Walk?
Pets are permitted if on leashes and there is a dog run in the event area. We are taking dog fundraising participants as well, who also can earn event swag! Check out our Canine Commando team, in fact!
 
14. Will there be water and first aid stations?
To decrease our carbon footprint, we will not provide individually bottled water.  We will have sponsored water re-filling stations at the beginning of the course and at the midway/turnaround point. Walkers will receive a reuseable, fair trade event water bottle, but you are more than welcome to bring your own.
 
We are also ensuring that there will be first aid services onsite for any health concerns.
 
15. What Happens if the Weather is Bad?
This event will occur rain or shine. We reserve the right to cancel in extreme circumstances.
 
16. Is Parking Available?  
Free parking is available and depending on the number of registrants, a shuttle bus is being arranged.
 
 
Thank You for Your Support!
Please feel free to contact our office during business hours with any other questions or concerns.
 
 
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