5 Million Steps to Freedom

“You can’t change the world alone – you will need some help – and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, and the good will of strangers…” -William McRaven.

What good is your happiness if it not shared?

When preparing for my the AT this year I really wanted to add another dynamic and give a little extra motivation to myself and others. Since I’ve been an avid Chiver since the early ‘10s, it was an easy choice to decide to work with Chive Charities to raise raise money. It was easy because I agree with the realism of their mission. They have not set out to make the world perfect because they know that perfect is not possible. What they want to do is make the world 10% happier, an attainable goal, if not difficult in its own ways.

This fundraiser, which I have called “5 Million Steps to Freedom,” will benefit Chive Charities directly – and share in their goal to restore freedom to those who have lost their voice and their independence. Named for the 5 million steps necessary to hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirety, I have set my fundraising goal at $21,900, ten dollars for each of the 2190 miles it will take to cross 14 states from Georgia to Maine…through 6 national parks and 8 national forests, 5 million steps to freedom.

Specifically, Chive Charities is serving people who have developed rare medical conditions, veterans, and first responders. They are standing up for those who need our support most. Most importantly, they are doing so in a way that is making a real difference… 143 vehicles purchased for Americans with Disabilities, 126 renovations to homes of struggling families, 820 pieces of life-changing medical and therapy equipment, and over 21000 impactful experiences to date… all made possible by people like you, thoughtful committed citizens working together to make the world a 10% happier place. They call themselves “a group of misfits,” and while that is not a bad thing at all, I would call them something else: a group of heroes. This is why it is my great pride to work with them on this fundraiser.

What are my credentials?

It’s a fair enough question. In 2018 I completed the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2650-mile trek from Mexico to Canada, through deserts, mountains, and forests. I am well acquainted with the hardships ahead of me on this endeavor. I know what it’s like to wake up after 176 nights sleeping on the ground, I know how it feels to have your boots frozen to your feet, and I know what it’s like to start to lose faith and have tofind determination again, much like those who I am trying to help now.

I want to make one thing clear upfront

None of your contributions are going to pay for my trip. All of that I have covered myself, through my own earnings. When you contribute to this fundraiser, you can be sure that 100% of your funds will go to Chive Charities. I am guaranteeing complete transparency throughout this process.

Catch the first glimpse of the Smoky Mountains with me in Tennessee, cross the midway point at the Potomac River in West Virginia, and crest Mount Katahdin as we reach our goal… together. I will be posting all trail updates regularly here on this blog and also on my Instagram, presenting you with a glimpse of life out on the Appalachian Trail, either to tantalize you into taking a trip of your own or to empower you to see what it is like from my perspective. Either way, it is one more benefit to contributing today.

So calling all “friends, colleagues, and good-willed strangers” …let’s work together to be the voice of the underdogs. Let’s strive for that 10% of happier that we can actually attain, and together take 5 Million Steps to Freedom.

You can donate HERE.

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