HiBefore setting out on his mission to hike the Appalachian Trail to benefit Talbot Interfaith Shelter, (aptly named the Long Walk Home), local attorney Robert Messick set himself an ambitious fundraising goal. On top of traversing 2,190 miles across 14 states, taking approximately 5 million steps, and navigating elevation changes that are the equivalent of ascending Mount Everest 16 times, Messick decided that he wanted to further challenge himself to raise $35,000 for the Easton-based shelter and transitional housing program.
In December of 2017, that goal was not only met, but surpassed. Since Messick began his journey on April 15,, 2017, he has raised over $36,000 to assist Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) in providing a stable, home-like environment, case management, and access to necessary services for men, women, and children in need in Talbot County.
“When Robert came to us with the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail in our honor, we were humbled,” says TIS Marketing and Communications Director Jayme Dingler. “When he said that he wanted to raise $35,000, we were speechless! And to see that he has not only accomplished that goal, but exceeded it… we could not be more proud or appreciative. He has done so much good for our community!”
Messick reached his goal with the help of over 170 supporters, including many of the people that he has met along the trail and two extremely generous matching donations from members of our local community. TIS also hosted its very first Long Walk Home Family Fun Walk in November, which raised a further $10,000+ for the Long Walk Home.
While Messick intended to wrap up his Appalachian Trail adventure in October, several setbacks, including severe weather and injury, caused him to have to take some time off the trail and delayed his completion. Hikers have a full year to travel every mile of the trail in order for it to be considered a true “thru-hike”, and Robert is determined to make it happen. To date, he has hiked close to 1,900 miles through 14 states with only portions of Virginia left to complete.
“His perseverance has been so impressive to watch,” says TIS Executive Director Julie Lowe. “Robert has been such an inspiration to our organization, our community, and especially to our guests. To see him push himself in this way and not give up shows them that determination can lead to extraordinary results. We are beyond thankful for all Robert has done for us!”
If you are interested in catching up on or supporting Robert’s adventure, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org and click on “Long Walk Home”. There, you can follow media coverage, find links to Messick’s social media accounts, purchase Long Walk Home merchandise, and make a donation to benefit TIS.
“Just because I have met the goal, that does not mean the need has gone away,” says Messick. “There is still homelessness in our area, and I hope that my supporters will continue to give to Talbot Interfaith Shelter, which does so much to help our neighbors get back on their feet.”
When Messick completes the last leg of his journey, he plans to take his story to the community, giving presentations to interested groups beginning in April. If you would like to have Robert come and speak to your community group, school, youth group, etc., contact Jayme Dingler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-786-4676 to schedule a presentation.
Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) is a 501(c)3 organization based in Easton and serving Talbot County and the surrounding areas. The organization has developed a program that they call S4 (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success), which is designed to give guests access to a stable home-like environment, services, and tools that can help them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and regain their independence. Once guests are accepted into Easton’s Promise, they receive case management as they move through an individualized plan, eventually transitioning into one of the shelter’s eight subsidized off-site apartments, where they incrementally take over expenses until they are fully self-sufficient.
Their vision is that no one in Talbot County will ever have to spend a night on the streets, in a car or in the woods because he or she cannot find housing. To learn more about how you can help,
visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org or contact Julie Lowe at 410-310-2316 or email@example.com for more information.