2021 SERVE’s Strides for Stronger Families Challenge FAQ


Why isn’t the Bowl-a-Thon happening this year?

Given the risks involved with bringing large groups together indoors while COVID-19 is still rampant, we will not be holding this event in its traditional format.

How does this year’s event work?

In lieu of hosting an in-person Strikes for Stronger Families Bowl-a-thon, we will be hosting a Strides for Stronger Families Virtual Fitness Challenge. Same great cause, just a pivot in the event structure so we can still come together for SERVE, while staying apart and keeping each other safe during the pandemic.

Starting March 9th, you’ll be able to register yourself as an Individual or Team Captain on an interactive website that is being designed especially for this virtual challenge. Registration will unlock your personal or team fundraising page that will raise funds to support the programs at SERVE. You will be able to share the page with your network and accept online donations to help you meet your goal. You will also be able to track your fitness activity progress on this page during challenge week.

When does the actual fitness challenge take place?

The week of the fitness challenge runs from Friday, April 9 to Thursday, April 15.

What is the fitness challenge?

An integral part of our Strides for Stronger Families Challenge is our goal to collectively log 35,000 minutes of fitness activity to represent the more than 35,000 Northern Virginians that seek out our services annually. This can be any type of activity of your choosing—walking, running, weight training, cycling, swimming, exercise classes, etc. Pick your activity, break a sweat, then log the time!

Why is this fitness challenge important?

  • The health and wellness benefits – during these socially-distant times, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with physical fitness and self-care.
  • Stay motivated – this challenge is a great way to keep motivated to stay active, by helping you strive for a consistent daily exercise target.
  • Help us raise funds to support SERVE – the money you raise from this challenge will help fund a range of important services for our Greater Prince William neighbors in need.

Is there a registration fee to participate?

No registration fee! There are suggested fundraising minimums. For individuals this is $100, for teams of up to five participants, this is $375.

Why are you asking me to fundraise?

We rely on supporters like you to help us provide critical year-round services for the Greater Prince William Community: an emergency shelter, rapid re-housing assistance, food and financial support for rent and utility payments, early childhood development services, and referrals for free or reduced-cost medical and dental care for children and adults. Funds raised through events like Strides are the reason we’re able to do more each year to meet the needs of our community. That’s why we need you to get involved!

How do I log my fitness activity minutes on my fundraising page?

Download the free STRAVA app prior to registration if you want to log your activity directly from your smartphone (you will be prompted to connect to your Strava account when you register). Fitness activity minutes/hours can also be input manually through your personal page under “record fitness activity.”

Can I collect cash or checks for my fundraiser?

As a virtual challenge participant and fundraiser, you have the option of accepting cash and/or checks from your supporters. You can enter them right into our online platform so it is counted towards your goal right away. Cash and checks can be turned into NVFS in the following 3 ways:

  1. Drop off cash and checks at SERVE’s Champion’s Circle on Friday, April 16, which will be outdoors and drive-thru.
  2. Send any funds you received to us at Attn: Strides for Stronger Families 10455 White Granite Dr., Ste. 100 Oakton, VA 22124.
  3. Make a credit card payment to cover your offline donations through our online peer-to-peer platform in your participant dashboard.

What about donations I raise through a Facebook Fundraiser?

This year we are piloting a Facebook Fundraising integration! This means that when you connect your Strides for Stronger Families Challenge page to Facebook, any donations raised through Facebook will magically appear on our Strides fundraising page. To set this up, log in to your page and click “Manage my page.” Then click “Create a Facebook Fundraiser” on the left-side menu, and follow the prompts from there.

Will there be t-shirts this year?

Yes! Please stay tuned for more information on t-shirts.

How can I support without joining the Virtual Fitness Challenge?

We are very grateful for any support, whether you participate in our virtual fitness challenge or not. If you’d like to make a general donation, hover over “Donate” at the top of your screen until a drop-down menu appears and click “Make a Donation.”

If you’d like to make a donation towards a participant’s or team’s fundraising goal, click “Donate to a Participant/Team” and then using the search feature to find their name. Once you have found them, click on the “Donate” button underneath their name and follow the prompts.