Bennington Trail Angels Need Angels Too!

To family, friends, AT hikers, and beyond,

I got to know Trail Angels Arla, Chris, and their son Josh when I was hiking through Bennington, VT last fall. I was directed to their house, "the Vortex" by a coffee shop barista and though they were taking a hiatus from being a hiker sanctuary at that time, graciously allowed me to rest my bones there for a couple nights anyways, as always free of charge. Anyone who has ever met this wonderful family who welcomed a steady flow of hikers to rest at their house on any given night for almost a decade, knows of their unwavering generosity. We distance hikers know how good a fresh cup of coffee can taste or a hot shower feels and we know that these of life's luxuries are made all the more relevant through the kindness of "strangers." Trail angels such as Arla, Chris, and Josh allow hikers to conquer their dreams of hiking the AT but also give us so much more: a little faith in the goodness of humanity.

Unfortunately, the Fosters' other son Jeremy, who is afflicted with cancer is in the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove his larynx, thyroid, part of his thorax, and his neck lymph nodes in the seven hour surgery. Difficult decisions are being made as to whether or not to pursue chemo treatment, given Jeremy's chances of surviving the ordeal.

Arla is, in her own words, a dreamer who follows them against all odds. In addition to medical expenses their family's needs are: computer communication for Jeremy, who will no longer be able to speak, a vehicle (in FL) so that he can drive himself to appointments and treatments, a motorized wheelchair, and a propane stove for the bus that Arla, Chris, and Josh call home.

Arla and Chris, though stoic are no stranger illness; she lives with skin cancer and he has a neurological condition that, among other things, prevents him to walk. Their son Josh is and will be dependent on care all of his life as well due to developmental disabilities. In addition, Arla cares for her mother, who is dying of cancer.

Donations will help make Arla and Chris's dreams for basic quality of life for their family a reality. Please give what you can. Every dollar helps and shows that you care!

Laura Minx Barnett aka Hippy Shortstockings
  • Josh Sheets 
    • $50 
    • 62 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 71 mos
  • Matthew Godbey 
    • $10 
    • 71 mos
  • Jonny Grusauskas 
    • $5 
    • 71 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 71 mos
See all


Arla K Foster 
Knoxville, TN
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