Hines VA hosts a free 2K walk May 18 to support homeless veterans

  • Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital will host a 12th annual VA2K Walk & Roll event on Wednesday, May 18, to support homeless and near homeless Veterans while promoting physical activity in our community.

    Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital will host a 12th annual VA2K Walk & Roll event on Wednesday, May 18, to support homeless and near homeless Veterans while promoting physical activity in our community. Courtesy of Louis Washkowiak

 
 
Updated 5/16/2022 5:46 PM

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital will host a 12th annual VA2K Walk & Roll event on Wednesday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The free event includes a short two-kilometer (1.2 miles) outdoor walk and supports homeless and near homeless veterans while promoting physical activity in our community.

 

"It's a great opportunity to show your support for our local veterans who may be struggling right now while also getting some physical activity," said Shelia Swann-Guerrero, Employee Whole Health coordinator. "We've seen a significant drop in veteran homelessness within the Chicago area, but one veteran in need is one too many."

To help homeless veterans, participants can bring a voluntary donation, such as clothing, blankets, toiletries or non-perishable food items. All donations will support Chicago-area homeless veterans. Donations are not required to participate, Swann-Guerrero explained.

This year's walk is also the first in-person event for community members since 2020. For the past two years, the hospital has held the annual event virtually for non-staff due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

"This is our first year back in person with our veterans and community, and we want to make it special, while also being safe," Swann-Guerrero explained.

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According to Swann-Guerrero, everyone will be required to wear a facemask and practice social distancing while visiting Hines VA. Hand sanitizer and face masks will be available during the event.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. outside Hines VA Hospital's Building 12 Winter Garden, located at 5000 S. 5th Ave, Hines, IL 60141. The two-kilometer paved walking route will tour the hospital's suburban campus, said Karissa LeCaptain, Employee Whole Health Coach and Fitness Center Coordinator.

Anyone can register throughout the four-hour participation period but are encouraged to arrive by 10 a.m., according to LeCaptain.

"Come out and support a good cause," LeCaptain said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will hold VA2K events at facilities across the nation on May 18. Since 2011, more than $2.7 million in donations have been raised nationally through VA2K to help homeless veterans.

For more information about Hines VA Hospital's May 18 VA2K Walk & Roll event, contact Sheila.Swann-Guerrero@va.gov or Karissa.LeCaptain@va.gov.

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