Heather MacNeil, Guest Writer~

On Oct. 29, 2017 Lynchburg College will participate in their 18th annual Hike with Haiti.

“Eighteen years ago a student named Rachel Tanner had gone to Haiti with another group of students. When she came back she had fallen in love with the people there, and when she came back she knew that she wanted to do something to support them,” said associate chaplain and director of the Bonner Leader Program, Anne Gibbons. This led to Tanner creating an event called Hike with Haiti.

Tanner recognized that throughout her time in Haiti everyone walked everywhere, whether it be to a spring to get water because they did not have running water or to the outdoor market to get food. Tanner believed that we could be in solidarity with the people of Haiti by walking a distance to remember the walking that they do, and while the hike takes place the participants would also have the opportunity to raise money for Haiti.

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

“The idea was that you would raise money like you would for something such as Relay for Life,” said Gibbons. LC has had a strong partnership with this program, and the money raised this year is going toward a literacy program with Matenwa Community Learning Center.

Many students have attended this event in years past. “I think [Hike with Haiti] is the coolest thing; it’s a local way to support a national organization. I think my favorite part was seeing all the people come out and walk … it was cool to see that it wasn’t just two people that came; we actually had a good turn out,” said senior Emily Newsom.

People interested can show up at Schewel in Sydnor Performance Hall at 12:30 p.m. where there will be a short presentation about the program and then a small hike on the Blackwater Creek Trail to a waterfall. For more information, contact Anne Gibbons in spiritual life.

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