On October 1, hundreds of people gathered for the National Association of Eating Disorders (NEDA) Walk that stretched across the Brooklyn Bridge to Foley Square in New York City. Among the participants was the team organized by Allyson Link, an elementary special education major and a sister of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.
The walk was about two miles long and lasted about two hours.
“The point of the walk isn’t only to raise money to help people receive the treatment that they need, but also to raise awareness to their family and friends that haven’t personally struggled,” Link said. “It’s inspiring to hear the stories of recovery and look around the audience and see how many people can connect with the story.”
This was Link’s fourth time taking part and leading a team for the NEDA walk.
“It was just easier to start my own teams and get my friends to join then to join a team of people I didn’t know,” Link said.
This year Link’s team consisted of nine members. They raised over $2,000 before the event.
“It’s always pretty inspiring to see how many people are willing to donate, because so many people have been affected by eating disorders.”, Link said.
While Link’s team was not a Delta Phi Epsilon sponsored movement, the majority of members were sisters of the sorority.
Link noted that while the NEDA walk is not directly related to her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon’s philanthropy supports an organization that helps those suffering from eating disorders.
Christina Hill, a sophomore business major and sister of the sorority, participated in her first NEDA this year and said that she would do it again. Hill said NEDA is important because many young men and woman struggle with weight and their relationship with food in a society that puts so much pressure on appearance.
“I was a little surprised to see how many guys were there and it was really awesome,” Hill said.
“The NEDA walk represented the power of people coming together to support others,” Kyla Stewart, a sophomore diplomacy major and sister of the sorority, wrote in an email. “Nearly everyone knows someone who has struggled with an eating disorder and a support system is vital in recovery. Seeing so many people come together for the well-being of their loved ones is such a beautiful thing.”
Stewart said she would do the walk again and hopes to raise more money than she did this time for future walks.
Veronica Gaspa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org