National Eating Disorders Association
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#WhyINEDAWalk Wednesday

Jessica Hickman, NEDA Walk Manager

Before I started as the national walk manager at NEDA, I coordinated the Westchester, PA Walk two years in a row. Working with coordinators across the country to spread awareness and foster supportive communities is my dream job. More than 15,000 people in 65 cities participate in NEDA Walks, and I am grateful to be a part of it all!

So, I want to tell you a little bit more about what NEDA Walks are and why I think they are so special. 

First, it’s important to note that NEDA Walks are non-competitive, most are limited to one mile in length and the walking portion is optional. We walk to symbolize coming together as a community—no one is alone in the fight against eating disorders!

Aside from the actual walk, there are also plenty of other fun activities taking place! All NEDA Walks follow the same basic structure, but each walk has its own creative flare that makes it special to that particular community.

You might find us palm reading in Phoenix, yoga-stretching in Pittsburgh or face painting in LA! These special experiences are made possible by our local walk coordinators. NEDA Walks are mainly hosted by dedicated volunteers who work hard to ensure that NEDA Walkers have an inspirational and memorable experience.

Now that you know what to expect at a NEDA Walk, it’s time to learn (or refresh) why we walk! Here are the top eight reasons why we NEDA Walk:

1. To raise vital funds that support NEDA’s many programs, services and support networks.

2. To build local communities. NEDA Walks are in approximately 65 cities every year. Visit www.nedawalk.org to find a walk near you!

3. To spread awareness of the seriousness of eating disorders and to advocate for improved accress to care.

4. To support individuals and families affected by eating disorders and to ensure that they know they are not alone. We’re in this together!

5. To remember. Too many lives have been lost to eating disorders. We walk to remember those individuals, support their loved ones and to continue their fight.

6. To celebrate. Recovery is something to be proud of—let’s celebrate together!

7. To learn. NEDA Walks are inclusive; everyone is welcome to join! Maybe you’re a parent trying to understand your child’s recent diagnosis, maybe you’re a primary care professional seeking more information or maybe you just happened to stumble upon our website—everyone is invited!

8. To meet you! NEDA staff pops up at walks across the country whenever we can. We love seeing you, talking to you and hearing your stories! You are the driving force behind what we do!