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Nationwide… Sept. 22, 2017
Hike it Baby community provides much needed support in aftermath of hurricanes
“Leave no hiker behind…” has been the Hike it Baby mantra since its’ founding four years ago. Members of the Hike it Baby community are usually enjoying the outdoors together, and being supportive of each other in doing so. Now they have come together as a community to support a different need, helping those whose lives have been turned upside down by the recent hurricanes. Support ranges from an abundance of donations, offering safe refuge for those displaced, emotional support, or watching children as the community rallies together by helping rebuild homes destroyed by Mother Nature.
The Hike it Baby branches throughout southeast Texas and the greater Houston area have over 6800 members. These members are proving that they do not want to leave any Hike it Baby family behind. Members have watched children and offered assistance while families are consumed with tearing down flood-damaged walls of their home. Others help coordinate welcoming homes for evacuees to ride out the storm and aftermath. Still others have organized donations from Hike Baby Branches around the country to send bleach and other cleaning supplies, as well as money.
“I have felt so amazingly touched by how this community of families is supporting one another,” said Shanti Hodges, founder of non-profit Hike it Baby. “I am so proud of Hike it Baby and the strong communities which have been built not only in local branches but around the world. The challenge now will be to continue aiding those affected by the storms.”
During Hurricane Irma, members in the southeastern U.S. responded in force to help those in need by using social media to connect with those in need of support. Rachel Young is a Hike it Baby Branch Ambassador in Charleston, South Carolina and said, “It has been so heartening to see homes open up for evacuees from Florida and other areas. I have never felt more grateful for the Hike it Baby community than I am now, thank you so much to every last family that has offered assistance!”
The support continues and is much appreciated.
“After the flood in Dickinson, Texas we had over four feet of bayou water in our home,” said Kristie Huffman, Hike it Baby Ambassador. “So many people come (to help). I looked around at one point and realized half the people there were Hike it Baby friends. Hike it Baby is truly a community, not just a hiking group. However horrible this experience has been, there have been plenty of silver linings and heroes. HiB has been a big part of our lives and our recovery.”
“Hike it Baby friends held me while I cried and watched my son so we could work on our house and replace vehicles,” said Branch Ambassador Heather Murphy. “There’s no way we could have mucked out our house without our HiB friends. While I wish this had not happened to us, I’m thankful to have other people that I can lean on during this time.”
CUTLINE: Hike it Baby families support those affected by the hurricanes by offering donations, assisting in home clean-ups, and providing emotional support for community members in need. Photo Credit: Jennifer Campbell, Hike it Baby
About Hike it Baby
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting new families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally by hosting hikes and walks in nearly 300 branches across the U.S. and in 9 other countries. Since their grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, they are now a growing community of 172,000 families, 580 volunteer branch ambassadors and over 5,000 hikes per month. More information can be found at www.hikeitbaby.com.