Since its inception in 2011, HIKE for Mental Health has raised and disbursed more than $470,000 for mental health research, mental wellness for veterans, and wilderness trail preservation.

Our mission to end the stigma surrounding mental illness grows stronger each year as more hikers, hike organizers, sponsors and contributors help spread the word.

In 2019, we raised more than $90,000 from our hikes and walks.

Where the money goes

Eighty percent of the funds raised through our hikes and walks is allocated to alleviate the suffering associated with mental health, primarily by funding research grants through the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. These NARSAD grants enable break-through research into the causes and new treatments for conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, PTSD, depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, OCD and other brain and behavior disorders.

HIKE for Mental Health volunteers Donna Keefer and Donna Chapman present our annual check to Brain & Behavior Research Foundation president Jeffery Borenstein, M.D.

Veterans mental health

VA staff receive donations from HIKE for Mental Health.

VA staff receive donations from HIKE for Mental Health.

Our Pearland Veterans Day Walk raises funds for organizations that support Texas veterans battling PTSD.  Beneficiaries of the Walk have included William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Counseling Connections for Change, VFW Post 7109, Community Action Program of Pearland, and Camp Hope – PTSD Foundation of America. More than $45,000 has been distributed from Walk proceeds.

WB acknowledgement 2015

Trail conservation

The ATC’s Laurie Potteiger accepts a check from HIKE for Mental Health’s Leo Walker and Tom Kennedy.

Our commitment to “give back” to the trails with twenty percent of the proceeds from our hikes has yielded almost $80,000 in distributions to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy , the Pacific Crest Trail Association , and other non-profit trail maintenance organizations.

Operating Expenses

Our operating expenses – credit card processing fees, website hosting, insurance, software licensing, shirts and other logo-ed items, printing and administrative expenses – run at around $16,000-$18,000 a year.

These costs were paid by a combination of donations from the members of the Board of Directors, funds raised on our Bear Mountain hike (the only hike dedicated to our operating costs), and contributions for shirt and other merchandise, as well as matching donations, and receipts via affiliates such as the AmazonSmile and GoodSearch.

So far, we have been able to cover our operating costs in this manner. We recognize that as we grow each year, eventually we will need to plan specific fundraising efforts or seek alternate funding sources to help offset the cost of our expanding efforts. But that day has not yet arrived. As an all-volunteer organization, led and managed by folks with day jobs (thankfully), we keep expenses to a minimum and make personal contributions to cover much of the costs. We will continue to do so as long as we can while hoping to again get some help from other kind souls to keep this organization growing.

Want more information?

Enter EIN 45-4085310 to view our Form 990 filing with the IRS.

Enter EIN 45-4085310 to verify our nonprofit status on the IRS website.

If you would like more information about the financials of HIKE for Mental Health, you may:

We are committed to complete transparency, so if anything is unclear please ask us so we can make it clearer for everyone. Thanks!