Matt Kusper's Hike for Mental Health
Fundraising Header image
Matt Kusper's Hike for Mental Health
Fundraising Page Image

Hello! Welcome to my Hike for Mental Health page.

I have decided to register my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail with Hike for Mental Health as my way of contributing to the growing needs of both the mental health and environmental conservation arenas. Although taking on a thru-hike is an unforgettable life-changing experience (from what I hear), it is also sort of a selfish one. Hikers leave family, friends, and personal obligations behind to pursue their hobby for approximately 6 months. Registering my hike with this ambitious organization is the least I could do.

Such a trek is an enormous privilege that many people may not be able to experience due to financial, physical, or cultural restraints. While I personally do not have much experience with the burden of mental illness, I am aware of its widespread presence, impact on families, and the unfortunate stigma that still accompanies conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

I've spent the last 6 months serving as an Americorps Crewmember for the American Conservation Experience (ACE) at their southeast branch based in Asheville, NC. During my service term, I learned how organizations and volunteers within our public lands are facing an uphill battle (literally and figuratively) in the struggle for environmental conservation.

Hike for Mental Health addresses both of these concerns. 80% of hike donations are allocated to scientific research and funding for programs dedicated to alleviating suffering from mental illness while 20% of contributions are aimed at the preservation of wilderness trails including the Appalachian Trail. In addition to supporting the mission of Hike for Mental Health, your support and donations will also motivate me to keep pressing on during those tough days on trail. After all, only 20% of those who embark on a thru-hike make it to the end. Regardless of the amount, any donation would be greatly appreciated and would go towards an important cause.

Thank you!


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
Donna Moore 07/25/2019 $25.00  
Kurt Olsen 04/22/2019 $100.00 Looking forward to the pictures. Good Luck!
Kim and Ellen Shore 04/18/2019 $100.00  
Nora Smyre 04/16/2019 $20.00 Safe travels!
Maggie Ely 04/14/2019 $20.00  
Meghan Wally 04/13/2019 $50.00 Proud of you! Be safe and see you soon :)
  Total $315.00  
Report Abuse Edit My Page