Hiking to help moms in need...


My name is Doug.  I'm a 48-year old IT consultant and this year, for the second year in a row, I will be participating in an event called "The One Day Hike", a 62.1 mile (100km) trek from Georgetown in Washington, DC, to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in - as the name would imply - a single day.  The Sierra Club hosts this event, now in its 40th year, and while many attempt it, only about half of the people that head out at the designated 3am start time typically finish by the required deadline of midnight the same day.  (More information at www.onedayhike.org.)

Last year, my good friend Rob - a wounded warrior and Iraq-war veteran - and I managed to complete the full 100km in just under the 21-hour time limit.  It was, as we can both attest, an extreme physical challenge but also an incredibly rewarding experience.  

(No shortage of solitude along the way...)

This year, I'll be attempting the hike again in an effort to raise awareness and support for a good friend's fledgling charity: "It Takes A Village, Baby!"  ITAVB (www.itavb.org) was started by Anna Thorner after helping an expecting mother who lacked the means to properly prepare for her new baby's arrival.  Anna realized two very important facts.  First, her circle of close friends and mom's-group acquaintences all had lots of good, usable baby gear they no longer needed and would gladly donate.  Second, there were many more new or expecting moms in our community in need of help: moms who may be homeless or unemployed, recent immigrants with little or no knowledge of our systems of social support, or single mothers in shelters struggling just to survive.  And thus, ITAVB was born.  Today, less than a year since its inception, it boasts an ever-growing list of supported new moms, and a still larger list of moms who have expressed a need for help.

While all the work (such as the collection, sorting, and distribution of donated items) done by Anna and others who volunteer at ITAVB is done for free, the organization does have some operating expenses.  Largest of these is the cost of the storage unit to house the myriad of items, which range from clothing to toys to baby beds.  Development and production of organization literature and operating the ITAVB website are additional expenses.  It is to help offset some of these costs that I'm choosing ITAVB as the beneficiary of any support I am able to raise for my 100km hike this year.  (While the two expenses above are monetary in nature, donations of time or gently used baby items are also welcome and very appreciated!)

The hike will take place on April 25th, 2015, with all participants meeting at 2am to register, get briefed, and make their way to the starting point: C&O Canal Trail, Mile 0.  If all goes well, hikers will leave the trail right around Mile 61 for the final 1.1 mile strech - all painfully uphill - into and through historic Harpers Ferry.

While it's impossible to fully appreciate such a hike without experiencing it for oneself, I believe I've found a way to keep anyone interested as involved as possible.  This year I'll be sending periodic "Glympse" keys (internet links) via text message and email.  With these , anyone sponsoring my hike will be able to see my precise location at any point in time, as well as my pace and other pertinent information.  I'll also be sending updates and pictures along the way to share the experience.

I hope you'll consider supporting my effort, and please take a moment to look at both the hike website (www.onedayhike.org) and the "It Takes a Village, Baby!" charity site (www.itavb.org).

Thanks, and have a great day!!!  :-)


(Last year, after more than a marathon already behind us, and with "only" 34 more miles to go...)


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Organizer and beneficiary

Doug Berry 
Ashburn, VA
Anna Thorner 
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