Yes, there is a pandemic.

Yes, the skies opened up Saturday afternoon and doused volunteers in Norfolk who were waving and hoping drivers would stop and donate money.

No, Regina Darden and more than 200 volunteers were not deterred as her H.O.P.E. Foundation held its second annual World Homeless Day telethon from the Murray Center in Norfolk.

“Homelessness is just a situation, it’s not who you are,” Darden said to cameras inside the center which were streaming the fundraiser on Facebook. “So many of us are one paycheck from being homeless. This could be any one of us….Give us a chance to give someone else a chance.”

Darden started H.O.P.E. Foundation — Helping Others Pursue Excellence — from her Virginia Beach home four years ago after she said God put it in her heart to feed and house the homeless.

Darden has been handling the bulk of the feeding part on her own. Last year, she ran an overnight shelter out of Lighthouse Community Church in Ocean View. Three times a week, she cooked dinner for the homeless, whom she calls “guests.” In between the cooking and staying overnight at the shelter a couple of nights a week, she put in more than 40 hours as a longshoreman. She also enlisted helpers to manage the shelter and work with the guests with other needs such as applying for jobs, counseling and registering to vote.

Getting the housing will take more work and that’s how Darden developed telethon. She envisions buying or, God help her, she says, a church or business donates a building that will be a fulltime home for her guests. Her people need lockers to store their belongings. They need a computer room to check email and job applications. They want to play board games and watch TV

Technavio has been monitoring the global wellness tourism market size and it is poised to grow by USD 315.47 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

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Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Wellness Tourism Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the growth of various industries, the immediate impact of the outbreak is varied. While a few industries will register a drop in demand, numerous others will continue to remain unscathed and show promising growth opportunities. Technavio’s in-depth research has all your needs covered as our research reports include all foreseeable market scenarios, including pre- & post-COVID-19 analysis. We offer $1000 worth of FREE customization

The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. Aspira Spa, Clinique La Prairie, Gaia Retreat & Spa, Hand & Stone Franchise Corp., HOT SPRINGS RESORT & SPA, Kempinski Hotels SA, Lanserhof GmbH, Marriott International Inc., ME SPE Franchising LLC, and Rancho La Puerta Inc. are some of the major market participants. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

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Growth in personal wellness awareness has been instrumental in driving the growth of the market. However, the perception of wellness tourism as a luxury travel market might hamper the market growth.

Technavio’s custom research

PRESIDENTIAL TRAVERSE, N.H. — When Dana Albrycht began planning for his annual hike, he decided that this year it needed to be big.

He chose the Presidential Traverse, a formidable string of eight summits stretching through the White Mountains of New Hampshire that includes the highest peak in the northeastern United States — Mount Washington. Albrycht, who had his right leg removed when he was 11 months old, hiked 21 miles from just before midnight on Sept. 19 to early evening on Sept. 21 when he finished — the most miles he ever logged in a two-day span.

As he planned the trip with three of his best friends, Albrycht, whose trail name is Crutchwalker, knew that he wanted use this hike to make a difference. The pandemic was having a severe impact on local and regional adaptive programs that serve people with disabilities where he lives in Simsbury, Conn., and he felt he had found an opportunity to create a fund-raiser to give back to the programs that he finds to be so crucial.

Albrycht has raised more than $7,000 through GoFundMe ( ) and plans to distribute the donations among the following organizations and programs that directly serve the disabled community: The Hospital for Special Care Adaptive Sports Program, Children and Teens Living with a Disability Mentorship Program, New England Disabled Sports, and True Adaptive LLC.

“There was never a single moment I regretted taking on this challenge, said Albrycht, after finishing the hike last week. “I live for trying to push my body to its limits and showing others what is possible for someone who is facing some sort of obstacle, and in my case that’s having a disability.”

Dana Albrycht (center) looked out over the White Mountains while hiking the Presidential Traverse with his friends Brett Attmore (left) and Michael Thompson.
Dana Albrycht (center) looked out over the White Mountains while hiking the Presidential Traverse with his friends Brett

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — UFG Insurance will light its American Building on the corner of First Avenue SE and Second Street SE in red — the color of its well-known Worth It campaign against distracted driving — starting Oct. 1 to coincide with the kickoff of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“The National Safety Council typically brings awareness to the all-too-real problem of distracted driving during April,” explains Worth It liaison and UFG Community Relations Coordinator Katie Jensen. “But, since most of the country was staying home last April due to COVID, the council decided to move this year’s awareness activities to October. UFG is here to play a part in that important dialog.”

With more people slowly getting back on the roads, saddled with pandemic worries and stressors from natural disasters, it’s a crucial time to advocate for focused driving habits.

“The red hue within the Worth It logo not only symbolizes the danger sparked by taking your attention off the road,” Jensen explains, “but it also serves as a serious reminder of the fragility of life.”

Red lights will illuminate the building all month except for Oct. 10 (Mental Health Awareness Day), Oct. 11 (breast cancer awareness) and Halloween from Oct. 30-31.

In addition to uplighting, UFG will offer its popular Worth It distracted driving awareness presentation to the public, virtually, at noon CT on Thursday, Oct. 22. All are welcome and the session is free of charge.

“Shawn O’Brien, a UFG employee, had a life-changing experience involving a driver who reached for a ringing cell phone — a decision that proved deadly,” Jensen says. “Shawn has made it a priority to educate as many