Reasons to Consider a Charity Hike
When Hannah and I decided to thru-hike in 2015, we discussed the importance of giving back in the form of a charity hike. While researching charities its evident theres countless of options to chose from and it can feel overwhelming at times. Fellow Appalachian Trials blogger Frozen Mac wrote a thoughtful post on how to organize a hike for charity. I’d recommend reading it if you are looking for a starting point to organize your charity hike.
If you are considering making your thru-hike one for charity- do it! I hope my three reasons to hike for charity leave you feeling inspired and motivated.
- Chose an organization or cause you are passionate about– I know this one seems obvious but its important to chose a cause you are passionate about and willing to discuss, promote and represent while on the trail. Hannah and I are both passionate about mental health and decided to raise $3 for every mile we hike with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention funds research, education and outreach for individuals and families affected by depression and suicide. If you want to learn more about this amazing organization please click here . According to the CDC Suicide Facts at a Glance, someone dies by suicide every 13 minutes. AFSP aims to reduce suicide rate by 20% by 2025. Hannah and I hope to raise awareness and create the dialogue necessary to reduce the stigma that too often prevents those in need from seeking help.
- Accountability– The act of hiking in itself is individualistic and Hannah and I are holding ourselves accountable to completing the trail because of the charity and funds were raising for the miles we hike. The failure rate for the finishing the trail is high, only forty-percent who leave from Georgia will make it to Maine and less than twenty-five percent are woman. By hiking for charity, I know I have to hold myself accountable and push through days where I want to quit because people are counting on Hannah and I. I’m hiking for something greater than myself and am proud to be hiking for mental health awareness.
- Ubuntu: I am because of you– Here, I want to introduce Ubuntu, an African philosophy I learned about while studying abroad in Cape Town in the fall of 2013. Ubuntu translates to I am because of you and resonates a human quality within everyone. I am hiking the trail not only for myself but also for a cause that is near to my heart. It’s important to ask yourself- why am I hiking the AT? What do I hope to accomplish? How will I grow and change? Who/What has enabled me to take on this 2000 mile trek? I am hiking for myself. I am hiking for mental health awareness. I am hiking to reduce stigma and start difficult yet necessary conversations about mental health. The Appalachian Trail will change me in more ways than I can even image and I’m looking forward to pushing myself mentally and physically getting from Georgia to Maine. Most importantly, I know the 2000 mile trek will be helping other people too with the funds we raise, perhaps save a life.
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