Sassafras' Fundraising Page
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Sassafras' Fundraising Page
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I'm fundraising for HIKE for Mental Health because hiking has been part of how I've managed chronic depression for most of my adult life. I know firsthand how important being out on the trails can be--how it makes you feel more alive, infinitely more present, aware of how beautiful the world around you is, and part of something much bigger than yourself. I joke with folks that going hiking for me is like going to church for other people, but it's not really a joke: I feel whole when I'm hiking.

Hiking has helped get me through several suicidal bouts of depression, as well as the turmoil of a divorce, job changes, moving to several different states, and my mother's death from lung cancer.

When people ask me why I'm trying to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail this year, the simplest answer is that hiking makes me happier than anything else. Hiking is like extended walking meditation for me--so many things melt away and I'm left in awe of the world around me, and the physical exertion and exhaustion combined with all the little things I notice make me feel like I spent my day doing something worthwhile.

HIKE for Mental Health recognizes this power, and it's the only organization I know of that explicitly strives to help fund both mental illness research and trail maintenance. In my mind, the two are intricately linked. Please join me in supporting this work.

ABOUT Appalachian Trail

1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.

I chose to make HIKE for Mental Health a part of my Appalachian Trail hike so I can raise funds for a great cause and reduce the stigma of mental illness.

HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.

Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and to foster responsible use of wilderness trails.

As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikers.

  • 80 cents from every dollar funds scientific research to prevent, cure, and treat mental illness
  • 20 cents maintains and preserves wilderness trails

Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.

To learn more, visit

To register your own hike with HIKE for Mental Health, click here.

Name Date Amount Comments
Tracey Merrill 03/27/2018 $20.00 We need so much more research on mental health! Go get 'em Kate!
Greater Horizons 03/17/2018 $100.00  
Will & Liz Moronta 02/22/2018 $25.00  
Jon Bradley 02/22/2018 $25.00  
Alisha Chaney 02/19/2018 $100.00  
Susan Morgan 02/19/2018 $10.00  
Elly May Clampett 02/18/2018 $10.00 Give 'em Hell Cousin Sassafras!
Jethro Bodine 02/18/2018 $10.00 There's some fine vittles in them there hills! See you over yonder, Cousin Sassafras!
Jessica Beatrice Fletcher 02/18/2018 $5.00 Whatever you do on your trek, stay clear of Cabot Cove! You'll either die or kill somebody!
Steve Messenger 02/17/2018 $20.00  
Joelle Ingalls 02/17/2018 $25.00 Thank you for raising funds for such a critical cause. I have stared my own demons square in the eyes. They almost got me, but I was fortunate enough to have someone who knew how to read the signs.
Anonymous Friend 02/17/2018 $100.00  
Mari Balow 02/17/2018 $50.00  
  Total $500.00  
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