Fundraiser Spotlight: Legendary Lindsay Pledges Miles for Veteran Mental Health
Leading up to Veterans Day, we are encouraging Americans to honor veterans and give back through our 11-day Boot Salute. We are always inspired by the creativity of our supporters, which is why we always want to encourage and support the creation of digital fundraisers that rally and relate to our supporters.
For example, our team connected with with U.S. Air Force SSgt, Lindsay Hill through our YOU MATTER initiative and partnership with our friends at SOLEDIER SOCKS. She was already on a mission to hike for mental health and suicide awareness to honor a friend who took their life and share openly about struggles she’s had in her own life through her Instagram page, @Legendary_Lindsay.
Her passion for the veteran community, love of nature and vulnerability on mental health issues has been an inspiring journey for us and many others to follow. In fact, her digital fundraiser helped raise over $2,000 in support of our life-improving programs for veterans and military families. We asked her to share more about her “why” and motivation for creating a custom, digital fundraiser with us below.
“Hiking, and being in the outdoors in general, has been a huge part of my mental health treatment ‘care plan.’ I first found myself hiking regularly as a way to cope with the loss of my friend [to suicide] and quickly fell in love with nature and the thrill of a good hike.
In 2017, I elected to start a 22 hikes campaign for suicide awareness to combat the pain I was still feeling from his passing the year prior. I received a lot of support and decided to start using my social media platforms to fundraise. Post Deployment, COVID, and relocating for a job compacted into major stress that resulted in me reflecting on “why.” I felt broken and depressed all over again, and elected to hike 2021 miles this year for mental health awareness. I felt like I was spreading a message, but needed higher impact.
In a moment where I felt like I wasn’t creating an impact, Elle Rueger, founder of SOLEDIER SOCKS, mentioned the upcoming #YOUMATTER campaign and sent me the socks. I discussed the desire to raise money for the organization on top of the $5 per sale of YOU MATTER socks, and she connected me with Boot Campaign. We eventually had an awesome and lengthy phone conversation about what I wanted to do to help, the organization, hiking, and community/helping others (all my favorite things) which resulted in the hiking campaign.
I elected to pledge a mile for every ten dollars raised for Boot Campaign’s mental health efforts. They had ideas for the logistics already mapped out by the end of the conversation, where the trackable donations page was set up quickly and left no room for animosity or questions of integrity, as the donations were directly deposited to the organization. Boot Campaign was super easy to work with, enthusiastic, and flexible, which made for a pleasant experience.
Boot Campaign was an easy choice as my beneficiary because of the campaign and programs they provide that directly relate to a cause I am passionate about, but also because they give a uniquely high amount of their donations directly to the veterans they serve. They use effective methods to help better the lives of the veterans they serve, while living modestly and being conservative in their “administrative and other spending.” I do plenty of research when I search for organizations to support and their ethics are infallible. I have mentioned Boot Campaign to companies, other nonprofits, veterans, etc and every person had only amazing things to say about various people they have worked with and their humility and passion for what they do. It seemed like destiny, as I am very much about character and integrity, which are two high qualities the organization and its members possess.
I love that Boot Campaign does whatever it takes to help veterans through a myriad of programs, but what initially drew me in was the “YOU MATTER” Campaign. As a person who has lost a childhood friend (and army veteran) to suicide and struggled for years with mental health, this message was so important to me. I have spent the past few years being blessed by my communities, friends, and mental health providers to get the help I need to work through my pain and grow to live a happier life of a higher quality. I know the services Boot Campaign is helping veterans with, will help them heal as I have, and I wanted to support that. I love that they create individualized care plans, which shows they really believe in the work they do and the services they provide. I think that’s pretty amazing and every reason to support Boot Campaign.
No goal is too small. I encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to set a goal and make a pledge. It helps to directly connect yourself to the cause because people often enjoy supporting the people they care about. Showing why it is important to you will show your honesty and vulnerability and help acquire more support because they will know it means something to you. Creating a fun challenge as I did creates more interaction with donors and talking about your challenge, thoughts, feelings, etc. makes it more personal. A lot of times I hear things like “I’ll never be able to raise that much money” or “no one cares about what I do.” The important thing to remember is that something is better than nothing, and at the very least, bringing to light the causes we care about is the BEST “worst case scenario.” And if you elect to raise money through Boot Campaign, they’ll make the whole process easy, be super grateful for your contribution, and be there to hype you up if you need it.
Thank you, Boot Campaign, for supporting me in my desire to give back to the veteran community. you made the whole process simple and allowed me to succeed in my goal. I look forward to working with you in the future!”