It’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning at the Phoenix Zoo and a crowd of parents, grandparents, kids and volunteers are getting ready to do a 1K walk. At most events, participants lace up their best running and walking shoes, but not for this walk — everyone was in flip-flops.
More than 1,605 walkers slipped into their flip-flops for the UMOM New Day Centers’ Walk the Walk to End Homelessness. The walk aimed to not only raise awareness about homelessness but also break the world record for largest 1K walk in flip-flops.
In order to earn the Guinness World Record certification, the walk needed witnesses to make sure there was a flip-flop on every foot. Student volunteers from ASU joined forces with Changemaker Central to fulfill this task.
Student volunteers stood along the path, keeping an eye out for any non-flip-flop footwear and cheering on the walkers in the process.
“It was really fun! I met a lot of people and got to encourage the walkers,” said Callie Patten, a biological sciences freshman. “And it was for a good cause. I’ll probably volunteer with Changemaker again in the future.”
Noah Byrd came with his teammates from the ASU competitive cheer team.
“We thought it was a really good opportunity to get involved with the community,” said Byrd, a freshman Chinese major. “The world record is kind of obscure, but it’s an interesting one and being a part of something like that is really fun. It’s a good team-building activity for us.”
UMOM is still waiting for the official certification from Guinness World Records, but a volunteer from the organization said that regardless, the event was a success thanks to the help from Changemaker volunteers.
“We really appreciate them and we really couldn’t have done this event without them,” said Brandi Jenkins, a volunteer with the UMOM women’s auxiliary.