United Way challenges you to take a walk in others' shoes for ALICE Awareness Week

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Since Monday, the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County has challenged community members to take a walk in the shoes of someone else living just above the poverty line.

The United Way said year round the work they do is to educate the community and help those who may be in the ALICE position.

Laura Toni-Holsinger, Executive Director of the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, said 60 percent of people living in Harrisonburg and 40 percent in Rockingham County live above the federal poverty line but still struggle to get by.

"ALICE stands for Asset, Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed — these are people that are above the federal poverty level and working, but are still struggling to make ends meet," Toni-Holsinger said.

Part of the awareness week is to challenge yourself by limiting your technology use outside of work, using a local laundromat instead of your own washer and dryer, wearing the same clothes every day, feeding yourself off of $6 a day, or limiting your transportation use.

Toni-Holsinger said she knows doing these things for a week can only do so much, but it's about getting the community to think about those who are affected by this everyday.

"The people that we've been engaging as part of ALICE awareness week are a lot of people that have privilege and access to a lot of resources," Toni-Holsinger said. "So we hope that by experiencing this it will better inform the way that they run their businesses and the way they interact with people."

The United Way said the work they do year-round, not just this week, is to help benefit those in the ALICE position or educate the community.

For information on how you can help the United Way, click here.