The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike adventure will be one in which our children will find an unmatched connection to nature (an appreciation for the nature world and all that our environment has to offer) as well as an educational and service experience that will stay with them, define them, and carry them to be confident, connected and community oriented leaders of the future!
To awaken to a beautiful dream one day become reality is the day millions of us wait and hope for. Setting goals and pushing ourselves to the limit, we have all challenged ourselves and our systems of life to see our goals in action. In March of 2019, waking a long envisioned dream, we will set out on the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail (AT). The trail covers 14 states and will take 6 months to complete.
This dream began over 20 years ago, in 1999 when I set up the Awaking Dreams Fund with the National Brain Injury Association in my brother, Kyle’s name. I raised over $10,000 and set out and completed a thru-hike of the AT. Five years after that my husband, sister and I set out on a thru-paddle of the Connecticut River and raised close to $30,000 for Casa Colinas, a rehabilitation hospital that facilitated outdoor adventures for their patients. My brother, Kyle fought his battle for 20 years and passed away in February of 2017. We will continue to hike in his honor and his name attempting to complete the trail on his birthday. However, this adventure will be of a different caliber, as Chris and I will set out with our four daughters ages 5, 7, 10 &12. I have envisioned this hike since my thru-hike in 1999 when I traveled with a father and his two sons for a few days. The boys were ages 9 & 11. They were adventurous, excited, connected to nature and so curious and educated about the natural world around us. I have long hoped for such an amazing experience for my girls. We have done a great deal of planning, preparing, and talking . . Now is the Time!
There are three main goals of our adventure on the AT. They are Education, Service, and Experience.
Education: After I hiked the AT, I went on to work with students participating in wilderness character education. I also received my teaching credential and wrote my master’s thesis on the importance and need for more wilderness education that could easily incorporate educational standards and core concepts. The girls’ education will continue through their currents school as an independent study program. There will be unmatched teachable moments and educational wonders around each turn. I will detail the amazement and educational inspiration found on some of our training hikes in a blog.
Service: Learning that the world is so much bigger than you think as you step one foot in front of the other to the next state line; yet at the same time small enough that each one of us CAN make a difference; is part of the educational experience found on the AT. On the trail you learn so much about the importance of human connection and how the world can take care of you when least expect it (“Trail Angles” are part of the AT). As part of this lesson we will use service as a motivation and means to show how we can make a difference all while hiking the trail. (More details below)
Experience: My 1999 thru-hike was adventurous, life-impacting and one of the greatest mental and physical challenges of my life. I learned many life lessons and spent time sharing these with schools and community groups after my hike in 1999. One of the most important lesson was to “Put Time In.” Hiking the trail is not taking time off but “putting time in.” I cannot imagine a way to be more present or connected with my family. I also know we will find a greater connection to our earth than we could through any other experience.
We look forward to connecting with you, reaching our goals and making a difference! To help us awaken this goal send donations to “Awaking Dreams” PO Box 735, Sebastopol, CA 95473. See the back of this page for more details.
With gratitude for your support,
Jamie, Chris, Maya, Harper, Josie, and Sabina Malone
I have long hoped to start a non-profit that emphasizes the importance of and opens opportunities to the outdoors for those at-risk, in need, and facing terminal or life altering illnesses (such as my brother’s). I encountered a non-profit that was started in memory of a loved one, with a mission that correlates with my goal, so Chris and I will hike in support of the B-Rad foundation. I honor their mission of health, adventure, and stewardship. Our family hopes to work with them in the future and continue to build the Awaking Dreams mission. B-Rad is also an organization that our family will continue to be part of through their stewardship initiatives when we return from the trail.
Alongside my interests and passions, Maya, Harper, Josie, and Sabina each chose a charity that they are passionate about to support for their thru-hike. Sabina chose food and will support the local foodbank- The Redwood Empire Foodbank. Food plays a vital element on the trail, which will be so apparent to Sabina as she hikes and bring a connection to the foodbank fundraiser. – Josie chose to collect 2000 pairs of shoes for “Soles for Souls,” as she knows the importance shoes have in her life, and will especially have when she is hiking. Harper chose to focus on wildlife and its correlation to the health of our planet. Her goal is to raise $2000 to divide between the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and The Appalachian Wildlife Rescue, located in the Appalachian Mountains. Maya’s goal is to raise $2000 for CARMA, an organization that rehabilitates and rehomes thoroughbred horses off the race track. Horses are Maya’s passion; this is an organization that she will be able to visit and become involved with, as it is located on a track that she has frequented.
How fortunate we are when we have the food we need, shoes on our feet, a healthy environment, and healthy animals that support our passions and lifestyles.
Now comes the time where you can help awaken lives and dreams. To directly support any of the groups we are walking for, you can write a check made out to the organization with “Awaking Dreams” in the memo. To support hike logistics or a specific need we have you can write a check to Jamie Malone “Awaking Dreams” and note specifically want you would like your donation to sponsor in the memo. Or you can just send a check to Jamie Malone “Awaking Dreams” and we will divide it between all of our efforts. Please send all donations to Jamie Malone “Awaking Dreams” PO Box 735, Sebastopol, CA 95473. You can also contact me at Sunshine.email@example.com. Our blog “awaking-dreams.home.blog” will be launched soon and we hope you will visit it as we embark on this amazing journey.
We need your help to accomplish the goal at hand and to show our girls that one person can make a difference! Please help us reach these goals.