A message from Tom
With the 2015 thru-hiking season coming to a close, I want to say thank you to all the AT, PCT, and CDT thru-hikers who made HIKE for Mental Health a part of their adventures this year. Our hikers had a well-above-average 35% completion rate – great job, everyone!
As the class of 2016 starts tearing through Campmor catalogs, checking gear and scouring Facebook groups for advice, it’s time to ask for your help this year. We are looking for some brave souls who are excited about their thru-hikes and want to help make a difference.
Friends You Haven’t Met Yet
It was fantastic to see so many people wearing their HIKE for Mental Health shirts at Trails Days 2013. There was an immediate bond among them, even when they hadn’t previously met, because they all had a common denominator. Not only were they thru-hiking, but they were trying to make a difference and help others at the same time.
HIKE for Mental Health is an all-volunteer nonprofit that funds mental health research and trail preservation. Eighty percent of what we raise from the hikes goes to find treatments and cures for major mental illnesses. The other twenty percent funds preservation of wilderness trails.
We raise the money every year by organizing a flurry of day hikes. 2014 will be no different, with our third annual Summit Mt Washington hike in August and our first annual Bear Mountain hike to Oktoberfest in the fall. But even with all our organized day hikes, we count heavily on you, thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail, to anchor our year.
How It Works
Signing up is easy and free. Just register your 2016 thru-hike on our website. As part of registration, you will be able to personalize a donation page and share your inspirations with others. Then just tell all your friends and family what you are doing. Links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are right on the page to make is easy. Your supporters can leave encouraging notes and make donations right on your personal donation page so you can watch your donation thermometer rise with each donation. Share your donation page on any social network and watch the funds grow.
Our hikers become a pretty tight knit group, looking out for each other on the trail. A lot of the hikers say that hiking for a cause provides added motivation when the going gets tough, which it will. If you go to the Facebook page for the AT Class of 2015 you can meet and talk with some of this year’s AT hikers.
If you have any questions or ideas, please let us know. We hope you will make HIKE for Mental Health a part of your thru-hike. Again, the link to sign up is here.