United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Rams, local community and philanthropic organizations and businesses, and over 5,800 participants virtually and in-person raised close to $900,000 thanks in part to match fund sponsors at the inaugural WalkUnitedLA at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. WalkUnitedLA brought communities together from across the region to help end homelessness, provide equitable and quality education to all students, and ensure greater economic mobility and increased access to opportunities for working families and individuals.
"Thanks to our fundraising match sponsors, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for homelessness solutions and the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation for educational equity we were able to leverage our impact for our most vulnerable neighbors, students and families," said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "After the devastating months many in our community have faced with the pandemic, we know that these resources will make a difference, especially in the communities of color hit hardest by the pandemic."
"Ending homelessness requires a united commitment to permanent housing, and we are proud to be a longtime partner with United Way of Greater Los Angeles in this effort and to match pledges to support organizations working to end homelessness throughout Los Angeles County," said Peter Laugharn, President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. "To rebuild a more equitable community, we need to work together to advance solutions that ensure everyone has a place to call home.
WalkUnitedLA's participants brought in over 200 teams that competed for top spots with fundraising and numbers. SoCalGas came in first with over $100,000 raised and nearly 800 members. Close second was East West Bank raising over $34,000 with over 300 members followed by City National Bank, and JPL Voyagers. Strength Based Community Change (SBCC), Team Rams and United LA Union were in the top 5 for most team membership.
In addition to the 5K course that went through the stadium on concourse level 6, participants enjoyed a fun family festival with music, food trucks, a Beer Garden, kids zone, "Listen In," art installation and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the event's vision for a more just and equitable Los Angeles County. The public sound art installation "Listen In," inspired a collective awareness to end homelessness. Some additional highlights included the Compton Kidz Club all-girl choir, dance and stretch routines led by the Rams cheerleaders, Rampage, and more.
WalkUnitedLA evolved from United Way of Greater L.A.'s flagship event HomeWalk, the single largest annual event to end homelessness across the nation. Since 2007, this annual event has united Angelenos supporting bold solutions to end poverty. Over the years, more than 125,000 people from across Los Angeles County have raised over $9.5 million to end homelessness for over 20,000 of our unhoused neighbors.
This year, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, in partnership with the Los Angeles Rams, expanded the focus of WalkUnitedLA to acknowledge and address the intersectional root causes of poverty and benefit the diverse community organizations working to build a more equitable Los Angeles.
"Aligned with our vision to unite the community, it was fitting that the new home of the Los Angeles Rams could also serve as the new home for WalkUnitedLA and this tremendous example of what is possible when we come together," said Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Demoff. "As committed partners of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Rams stand with the WalkUnitedLA participants in the fight to end poverty and to expand opportunities for all."
Additional partners boosted the impact of the WalkUnitedLA fundraiser including media partners ABC-7/KABC-TV Los Angeles, ESPNLA 710 AM, 94.7 The Wave and 93.1 JACK FM, Champion Sponsors Annenberg Foundation and East West Bank, Start Line Sponsors, City National Bank, Kaiser Permanente and SoCalGas, and Finish Line Sponsors Target, Torrance Refinery Company and UPS.