Jessie the Labrador likes to stretch her legs . . . .
It’s just as well.
You see, a little later this summer, Jessie will embark on the longest walk of her life.
Come the finish, she will have covered 2,181 miles, crossed 14 states and done incalculable good.
It is all her owner’s idea.
Christine Baker – the Labrador lover in question – is preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail, her faithful friend at her side.
Trekking from Maine to Georgia is expected to take around six months and, although the undertaking is impressive, it isn’t all that unusual.
The interesting thing about Christine’s quest is the cause that lies behind it . . . .
It’s called Walk4Good . . . .
This is the non-profit organization that Christine established in 2011 in order to ‘inspire and empower people to pass acts of kindness onto others’.
To quote from the organization’s mission statement, ‘[We] envision a world where we are all a little more engaged in our local communities and personally deliberate in our willingness and intent to help those around us’. This sounds right up our street!
Here in Saunderstown, RI, we’re aiming to spread kindness one OM at a time . . . .
On the Trail, Christine (and Jessie) are preparing to do it one step at a time.
It always inspires us to hear about others doing their bit in an attempt to touch and improve lives and the motivation that lies behind such efforts is often the most fascinating part.
It is true in Christine’s case, for it is 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on Manhattan that has led her to count her blessings and reassess the important things in life.
On that fateful morning in 2001, Christine had been due to attend a meeting at the World Trade Center but overslept.
‘It was just timing,’ she explains. ‘There were so many people who called in sick that day, or had car trouble or had strange little things that happened. For a long time, I wouldn’t watch any of the anniversary television specials, I just didn’t want to go there at all’.
That all changed last year, when Christine did watch the ceremonies that marked 9/11’s 10th anniversary. Later, whilst out for a walk with Jessie, she had a realization.
‘It was one of those weird moments when all of a sudden things just gelled for me,’ she says. ‘Without ever really articulating it to myself, there had been this nagging thing in the back of my mind – what was I going to do to justify the gift of my life?’
From that moment on, Christine has dedicated herself to making a difference, helping others and spreading kindness to all she meets.
She set up Walk4Good to further her ambitions.
Her forthcoming trek, she hopes, will help her to raise at least $150,000 for three charities that are close to her heart.
To meet that target, Christine must take five million steps along the Appalachian Trail (for Jessie, it’s going to be 10 million), but she has no doubt that she’ll succeed.
‘When I set my mind to something, I do it,’ she says, and we applaud her determination.
You can support Christine, who is seeking dedications for each mile she completes.
Choose any from the 2,181 that she plans to walk and dedicate it to a loved one – it’s free, the one condition being that you give a reason and then pay it forward by promising to perform a specific act of kindness. So far, more than 1100 dedications have been amassed . . . .
Here in our studio, where such things inspire our OMs and underpin our own efforts to spread a little kindness, we’d like to wish Christine and Jessie well on the long path ahead.
Here’s to engaging in our communities and helping those around us . . . .
Here’s to paying it forward . . . .