In 2020, when the world was in chaos, I had to be creative and come up with (devise) a way to fundraise for Help In Crisis that didn’t involve large social gatherings. I’ve always loved hiking and being in nature, and that is how #Hike4HIC was born. I decided to take on the challenge of backpacking the Ozark Highlands Trail, all 164 miles, in an effort to raise funds for Help In Crisis. Other women jumped on board and in November of 2021, we set off into the wilderness with backpacks filled with 10 days worth of supplies.. We did well even amidst bad weather and some injuries, but we didn’t quite complete the164 miles. The fundraiser was a massive success. We felt the love and support of so many people and raised more money than Help In Crisis has ever raised. We knew that we were going to have to try again. And, that desire to finish the 164 miles was deep.
With additional women on our hiking team, we set off again in November of 2022 . I am proud to report we completed the entire Ozark Highland Trail- all 164 miles! As we reflected on our adventure, the time we spent together each night around the campfire had a huge impact for the hikers. Stories were told, struggles were shared, and each night we reminded each other of why we were there. This hike was not for ourselves, but for the survivors. For those who flee for safety with only the clothes on their back, for the survivors that take each day one step at a time, and for the survivors who need encouragement everyday to keep moving forward. Every blister, every night slept on the hard ground, and every day that was hiked in the rain or snow was for the Survivors.
This year, we would like to make this adventure accessible for even more people to “Come To The Campfire” with us. Many options were created, from a 1 mile hike or a one day 4-5 mile day hike. If you have ever wanted to try backpacking you could join in on a 2 night or 3 night backpacking trip. We even have an option for a mother/daughter backpacking trip. The purpose of this hike is to invite you to spend some time at our campfire. We’ll share what we have learned and talk more about the mission of Help In Crisis. Our hope is that by having you come to our campfire, you’ll leave carrying your own torch to continue to raise awareness for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The truth is that this is an issue that touches all of our lives, but is often hidden in the shadows. Maybe by coming to the campfire and leaving with your own torch, you can help us shine light on these issues and bring more survivors out of the dark. We will be asking each participant to share their reason why and to join us in our fundraising efforts to support Help In Crisis.
Help In Crisis Annual Fundraiser: HIKE! "Come to the Campfire"
Join us for HIKE!, where the journey of every step resonates with the struggles and triumphs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Rooted in the communities of Tahlequah, Sallisaw, and Wagoner, OK, this fundraiser represents not just a hike, but a journey of resilience, empowerment, and community solidarity.
The HIKE! is more than just a physical endeavor. It embodies the challenging paths victims of domestic and sexual violence tread. Each ascending trail and winding path mirrors the unpredictable and strenuous journey these survivors navigate. Coming to the campfire, a symbol of warmth, safety, and community, we aim to shed light on these stories and the importance of providing continuous support.
One Mile Walk: A local stroll that anyone can participate in, perfect for families and individuals alike. Choose between Nov. 3 or 4.
One Day Hike: A more immersive experience covering 4-5 miles locally. Offered on Nov. 3 and/or 4.
2 Nights Backpacking: A mother-daughter bonding journey, trail TBA, November 10-12.
2 Nights Backpacking: An extended backpacking trip on the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT), from Nov. 3-5 and/or Nov. 10-12.
3 Nights Backpacking: For the adventure enthusiast, a deep-dive trek across OHT from Nov. 2-5 and/or Nov. 9-12.
By joining our HIKE! or supporting a hiker, you become part of a larger mission: to illuminate the challenges survivors face and to reinforce that, with collective effort, every struggle can lead to a summit of hope and recovery.
Together, let's hike towards a brighter tomorrow. Join us, support us, and let's make a difference one step at a time.