IMG_4984If you’re lucky enough, you’ve had this experience already: you’ve been hiking for a little while – a few weeks, months, maybe a year. You tell friends about your adventures, or people at the office, or family members – and they listen with rapt attention about your adventures in the wilds just outside our front doors. Then, after a while, somebody asks to join you on a hike – maybe someone who’s never even thought about hiking before. On the trail, you watch their faces as they experience silence for the first time in years – marvel at the size of the trees, the clarity of the air, the height of the peak they just summited. Even if they don’t become a full-time hiker, you can see something in them has changed – they’ve got a new way of looking at the world, now, and there’s no going back.

Now, imagine the same bright look on the face of a child from an inner-city neighborhood. They may not have the time or resources to access the wilderness like you do – or it might even be so far from the realities of their day to day lives that they never even considered a wilderness existed in the first place.

Enter the Washington II Washington project. Founded by This American Life contributor and editor of Found Magazine Davy Rothbart, this program is aiming to fund its third annual trip to the woods via an Indiegogo campaign. This year’s trek will bring 24 inner-city kids into the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for 5 days.

Learn more about the hikers here, and watch this video to learn more about the project’s heartbreaking origin.

Please donate if you can. I know the kids will be thrilled.

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