The Giving Tree (1)Remember that book you used to love when you were a kid called the Giving Tree? That was one of my favorite all time book. The story is simple. A little boy grows up with a tree that gives and gives and gives to the little boy until he is an old man and the boy takes all. In the end when the boy is an old man and has nothing to give the tree, he goes to the tree and still the tree, that is now a stump, has a safe space for him to sit and rest…all the tree wants is for the boy to be happy and that makes him happy.

When people ask me what I am getting out of Hike it Baby, if I want to make money now or grow it to sell it, I have to answer sure it would be nice to get paid to hike, but really I started this group up so that I could make friends and never feel alone and isolated with my new baby. When I first had Mason I just remember thinking that my life wouldn’t change that much and my friends would still be around…and while my friends are still around here and there, your life does change dramatically and that can make you feel alone.

These days I hike every few days with an awesome group of moms and dads. Some are new friends, some are now old friends. But either way I know if I am ever feeling a little glum or just need to be motivated or just want to breath fresh air, I can find people to hike with at a moments notice both planned and unplanned. This is what the website and Facebook groups give me. Without the organization finding so much activity so easily wouldn’t be possible.

Hike it baby is a tree that’s growing stronger by the day. The branches are spreading far and wide. It’s a place where you can find shelter and climb up to get a good view. You can jump from branch to branch like a squirrel or you can just rest peacefully on a limb and quietly observe like an owl. However you use Hike it Baby, this is a community that has gone from and idea to a movement in just a few months.

The Giving Tree (1)

Hike it Baby is your giving tree. There is so much it has to offer as a community and as a website that brings together amazing families across the country into one network. And it won’t take much with how many we have in the group to keep it going. But like a tree it does need a little water and some love, so please help with giving what you can whether it’s telling story to friends or kicking in a few dollars. In a time when everyone is always asking for money this is hard for me to do. I want to be that tree that just gives and gives and gives…and I will continue to be as long as I can. But if you can help me keep giving this gift of growth away for all of us, I would be forever grateful and so would a lot of other mamas.

Here’s the math on what we need funding for and how it works if we all gave to better explain:

Currently after a little over one week of fundraising, your generous donations have helped us meet 17% of our goal so far. We’re at just over $6,100, with donations from 114 people. That means we’re averaging about $54 per donation, which is really great news. Right now we have around 5,000 members nationally. At our current numbers, only about 2% have donated. We’d love to see this number get higher.

Ideally, we’d like to see every member make a small donation. If each person who is part of Hike it Baby donated $6, we would meet and exceed our remaining goal. That’s a lunch out or a coffee or two skipped. We understand if you can’t make that happen. At Hike it Baby, it’s all about doing what you can. Even if you share the campaign info with your friends and just one of them makes a donation, we’ll still be on track.

Another idea would be to go to your employer, your partner’s employer or a business you love and find out if they would do a donation match. For every dollar you raise, they could match (up to a limit if they want) with an equal amount. This doubles the donation you gather without doubling your work!

You may have seen this graphic on.Facebook lately that details how the money will be spent. If you haven’t, check it out.

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The hard part about raising funds for something like Hike it Baby is that it’s really easy to give when you see a person who is hurting, hungry or shows other signs of immediate need to FIX a problem that is causing them to suffer. But giving to a group like Hike it Baby that aims to PREVENT problems, y offering families a safe, supportive environment to make friends and get out of the house, it’s not as easy to see how this can help your world. But by having Hike it Baby in your community you are helping prevent future disrespectful treatment of our planet and each other.

We’re about creating love and respect, support and friendship, all positive ways to prevent future negativity. We want a strong community tree with solid roots and tough branches that will withstand any storm instead of a shallow, fragile thing that requires constant patchwork fixes after every bump along the trail. Where would you rather plant your dollars? Will you help us grow that strong, beautiful tree?

Thanks for your love and support! –Shanti and Mason

The Giving Tree (3)Want to stay dry this winter? Get entered to win a jacket set up for your whole family (jacket for mom and dad and fleece outfit for baby) when you contribute to the Indiegogo campaign between October 12-21st! For every $10 given your name gets entered to win. Give $50 you have 5 chances to win! www.igg.me/at/hikeitbaby

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