Trail Days and Supports for Non-Profits

North Carolina Trail Days Festival Returns in June

The beloved North Carolina Trail Days Festival in Elkin is coming back this summer. The multi-day festival celebrates the great outdoors, the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and Elkin’s local trails with various activities during the first weekend of June. 

The annual festival was started by local volunteer group Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA), whose mission is to improve and grow a network of trails for people of all abilities. NC Trail Days will be held in Elkins and Jonesville along the Yadkin River in the foothills of northwest North Carolina.

“We have plenty of exciting things for you to do during the festival weekend… including guided hikes, self-guided hikes, paddles, floats, adventure film showings, a low-country boil, mountain bike clinics, fly fishing, tour de Trail Days bike ride, outdoor-oriented exhibitors and non-profits, kid’s events, tons of live music, food trucks, a beer garden, horseback riding, and so much more,” the event stated in a press release. “Whether you choose to follow guided hikes or blaze your own trail, this event provides an amazing opportunity to soak up the sun while enjoying the peace of our beautiful outdoors.” 

Coinciding with National Trails Day, the festival kicks off Thursday, June 3rd, and runs through Saturday, June 6th. The event will be enforcing CDC guidelines such as mask-wearing and social distancing to keep patrons safe as they go outside to play all weekend long. 

Outdoor-Based Nonprofit Helps Local Animal Rescue Agencies

The North Carolina based nonprofit, FIND Outdoors, has teamed up with two north Georgia-area animal rescue groups to help them with additional funding. FIND Outdoors, a 49-year-old education and recreation nonprofit in Pisgah Forest, N.C, recognizes that the pandemic has been especially difficult for other nonprofit organizations.

“As a longstanding nonprofit, it’s so important for us to support other hardworking organizations for the benefit of all our communities,” said FIND’s’ Georgia Program Manager, Liberti Gates. “When we can make a difference in the lives of others around us, especially our pets, that support is given back to us tenfold.”

Through a new project called “giving month,” which happened back in December, FIND was able to raise donations for Castoff Pet Rescue and Charles Smithgall Humane Society. FIND also matched the total amount for both sites. 

“Because of the pandemic, individuals haven’t been donating as much due to their own financial conflicts,” stated Shannon Elliott of Castoff Pet Rescue. “In addition, volunteerism has slowed down drastically over the past year. This is the time when we need help the most.”

Both rescue agencies heavily rely on volunteers, donations, and sales from their local thrift stores to stay in operation since they have not received any government funding. You can contribute to this effort by donating to the Charles Smithgall Humane Society and Castoff Pet Rescue and learn more about FIND Outdoors and their upcoming programs and events at their website.

College Student Raises Money for Nonprofit While Hiking Appalachian Trail for Credit

An Emory & Henry junior decided to make the most of his time on the Appalachian Trail by raising money for a nonprofit organization while hiking. Originally from Hillsborough, N.C., Carter Momsen-Hudson is part of the college’s Semester-A-Trail program, which offers students the opportunity to hike the A.T. for college credit. People are pledging money for every mile Momsen-Hudson walks on the trail.

The money will go towards Comfort Cases, an organization created to bring comfort to children in foster care including providing them with backpacks. The organization was chosen by Momsen-Hudson’s close friend, who is currently experiencing health issues but wanted to be a part of the effort. 

“Backpacks are a huge part of Appalachian Trail culture, and hikers can appreciate a good backpack because we have to live out of them for months,” Momsen-Hudson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, usually kids in foster care have to put their belongings in a trash bag or leave them behind. So, my friend Abby and I thought that this organization would be a perfect combination of our passions –  helping kids and living out of backpacks.” 

Momsen-Hudson started his journey on the A.T. along with other students on Sunday, February 28th. You can donate to his Go-Fund-Me page HERE

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