If you followed along last year, you watched as I hobbled the final stretch of the 185-mile journey along the C&O Canal, and you generously helped me surpass my $1,000 fundraiser goal. (Thank you!)
Although 2018’s now-historical rainfall flooded portions of my path, it did not deter my mission to show how long-distance hiking represents the life-long challenge of having—or caring for someone who has—a mental illness. If anything, the storms deepened the symbolism to how life works (with or without mental illness). That is: Life never goes as planned. So, you turn to others for help, explore alternative routes, and do whatever you can to reach your goals.
Here I am turning to you again, dear family, friends, and neighbors. Every month, our crisis prevention hotline misses 800-1,000 calls due to underfunding. To put a face to the anonymous line, in only the past few years, I’ve been on that other end, lost in darkness, waiting for someone to pick up. I am not the only one, and I cannot sit and let this continue to happen for anyone else in need.
Therefore, for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m sticking around our area for my annual hike. I’ve mapped out every park path within Montgomery County, totaling well over 200 miles, and I aim to walk every one of them – Every trail for every call for Every Mind.
Just like last time, your encouraging emails, texts, and calls will motivate me; your participation will inspire me and warm my soul; and your donations will help fund our regional hotline.
Help EveryMind answer at least one more call to help save one more life.
Lauren / “Summer”
P.S. Stay tuned for my schedule release on Instagram to join the adventure either physically or vicariously (@writeboldly). :)