“Last summer, my family fell in love – with camping! After our first family camping trip, we were hooked!
We love hiking together and exploring nature – seeing places you can’t get to with your car. And I can honestly say that my family’s new found love affair with camping and hiking could not have been possible without Annie’s Locker. How did I get from Annie’s Locker to camping? Well, if I had tried to go camping and hiking just one year earlier, I would never have made it! I was so out of shape, one hike would have done me in! I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy my surroundings (if I had been able to get out there at all). Our favorite place to camp is Starved Rock State Park. It’s also the first place we went camping, and where we “discovered” our new favorite family activity. Starved Rock is home to miles of trails and many incredible canyons! After camping there at least 5 times last year, we still haven’t seen them all.
But think about it – even though the trails are very nicely maintained (so it’s easy enough for the kids to navigate) – going to the bottom of a canyon and back would be very difficult for the hopelessly out-of-shape individual. I’m sure that I would have thrown in the towel after one hike over a year ago. But last year, Annie’s Locker did something for me that literally changed our entire family. They paid for my entry into the Literacy Half-Marathon training program. We couldn’t afford the fee, so I applied to Annie’s Locker, and it was paid for me! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it, but after the 12 week training program, I did it!!! I completed the Literacy Half-Marathon! It felt incredible to have accomplished that! At the time, I didn’t know just how much that training program would mean to me and my family because we hadn’t started camping yet. But later that summer, I would often reflect as we climbed hundreds of stairs in and out of canyons, that it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t done the training program. And I wouldn’t have been able to do the training program without Annie’s Locker. So, I have to thank Annie’s Locker – for my entire family. But most of all, for myself – because a mother does not ever want to be a reason for holding her family back. Annie’s Locker has made it so that my physical ability will not keep my family from wonderful experiences. Thank you!”