Hello! Thank you so much for considering supporting me with this year's Wilderness Heals pledge hike for the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH). Whether it's your first time hearing about the hike, or you've supported me or other folks for years, your backing of the Stone House mission can make a huge impact. It can literally save lives. The Stone House helps homeless and at-risk survivors of domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness achieve greater safety and stability. This summer, I am raising at least $1,500 by participating in a 3-day pledge hike in the White Mountains on July 20-22 with a crew of nearly 50 other participants (an all-time high number of participants in the hike). Below is some information that I hope will help you to learn more about the Stone House, and why I'm motivated to hike again:
2018 is my fourth year hiking with Wilderness Heals, and my 2nd year as a Team Leader--a responsibility that I'm proud of and which entails meetings, phone calls, hike leadership, and training beyond the call of my first two years as a hike team member. As I get to know and understand the work of the Stone House more and more over the years, I hear new stories about their impact, and become more and more convinced that domestic violence is an under-discussed, under-funded, yet ultra-common issue. And, that supporting Wilderness Heals presents an opportunity to do something about that, because the Stone House is doing big things about it in some pretty innovative ways.
One of the stories that I'm thinking of starts with a woman who was terrified about what would happen when her abuser was released from prison. She asked her landlord to change the locks on her apartment door so that her abuser couldn't get in. He would not, so she contacted the Elizabeth Stone House. Many of ESH's grants come from federal sources and are restricted to specific purposes. General, unspecific operating costs--like paying to get a lock changed--are usually not covered under those grants. That's why 100% of funds raised through the hike go toward general operating. ESH had immediate access to money to change the lock. That night, the abuser tried to enter the apartment door, but could not with the new lock. The next morning, the police showed up to the woman's home, asking if they knew the man's whereabouts. She replied that she had learned that the man had murdered another person the night before. If the lock hadn't been changed--if the Stone House didn't have the money to do that on the spot because of resources like the hike--that might have been her instead.
On a lighter note, I continue to live in Boston, just a few miles form the Stone House's location in Roxbury. I've changed jobs, but continue to work with youth from urban, low-income communities around Greater Boston, including Roxbury. Knowing that the Stone House may very well likely impact the lives of people that I share community with makes the service that much more important to me.
In other good news, ESH is moving toward breaking ground on their soon-to-be beautiful new building this summer, which will allow them to greatly expand the number of individuals they can reach, and the quality of services they can provide. As many of their other fundraising efforts have been going toward the capital campaign to fund the new building, the hike remains a critical stream for funding those general operating needs that don't get covered by the capital campaign. In addition to allowing things like changing locks to get dealt with, general operating funds get used primarily for ESH's Parent-Child Center, allowing the children of people experiencing domestic violence to receive trauma-sensitive care themselves.
Check out the data below to learn more about how far your giving will go, and to get a sense for what the Stone House's services can look like:
$60 feeds one shelter resident for one week.
$100 gives a family in need one home visit and follow-up time to arrange services.
$150 gets an individual in shelter linens, blankets and a mattress cover.
$250 provides an individual with one month of scheduled service coordination and counseling on education, housing and employment.
$500 supplies each shelter resident with toiletries and personal hygiene supplies for one year.
$1200 covers the cost of a one-day family outing for 20 Stone House residents.
$2500 pays for an instructor for two 12 session sections of our financial literacy class.
$5000 keeps the Parent-Child Center open for six days.
Thank you for your consideration and support! I look forward to keeping all of my supporters updated with notes and photos!