Special to the Times
On July 14, Elizabeth D’Angeli of Beacon Hill will board a bus with more than 30 other women and head to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a three-day hike to benefit Stone House. Wilderness Heals is an all women pledge hike through New Hampshire’s White Mountains that builds and engages a community of supporters to raise money for Stone House families and individuals.
2023 is the 28th annual event, but the first time D’Angeli is hiking in it. D’Angeli works as a writer in the marketing department at Natixis, a global investment management company in Boston. When she started at Natixis nearly two years ago, she almost immediately started hearing about Wilderness Heals. One of the things she really likes about Natixis is that they have a few core charitable partners where they are deeply involved. One of those partners is Stone House, an inclusive, essential home and community space for adults, children and families affected by domestic violence, located in Roxbury. Stone House makes a difference in the community by caring for and protecting adult and child survivors of domestic abuse, and helping them rebuild safe, secure, independent lives of purpose and self-fulfillment. In 1974 Stone House initially opened as an alternative to institutionalization for women with mental health issues. Since then, it has evolved into a robust, inclusive, and essential home/community space for adult, child, and family survivors of domestic violence.
As Stone House’s largest fundraiser, Wilderness Heals raises unrestricted, crucial, flexible funding that helps meet the needs of the domestic violence survivors who rely on Stone House. With various route options, hikers of all skill levels are encouraged to join Wilderness Heals.
D’Angeli enjoys hiking, having done so with her husband in Switzerland and California in addition to the New England region. Her interest in hiking combined with the more she learned about Stone House was the reason she wanted to get involved. Registered hikers have the opportunity to connect with other participants in the months before the three-day event, including required meetings and a training hike. Participants are assigned to a group of ten for the three-day event. Each group includes two team leaders who are responsible to lead the team and make decisions regarding safety throughout the hike weekend.
D’Angeli did her training hike in early June in the White Mountains and like many days this summer, it rained. “It was great that it was raining because it was good practice hiking on slippery terrain,” said D’Angeli. “Everything to prepare for this hike has been so well organized that I think this is going to be a great experience. I’m really looking forward to hiking with the other women.”
D’Angeli and the Natixis team are still fundraising and appreciate any donations. They can be made at https://charity.pledgeit.org/WildernessHeals. The Stone House is a little more than half-way to its fundraising goal of $200,000.