Volunteers from several churches are meeting the needs of hikers along the Appalachian Trail by serving them refreshments to keep them hydrated and healthy, according to The Berkshire Edge. Though it is not the first year the churches have set up the “corner of kindness” tent, it is a year where it is much appreciated as many of the regular water sources along the trail have dried up due to a partial drought, according to Christ Trinity Church Rev. Erik Karas. Upon discovering the tent, the exhausted hikers are filled with gratitude for the compassion and generosity shown to them from the participating churches.
The “corner of kindness” tent is open Monday through Saturday for all hikers who pass by. Volunteers at the tent cook burgers, hot dogs, and provide water to the hikers who stop in for relief. According to The Berkshire Edge, it is a large group effort in which volunteers from all different churches join together to ensure the tent is open for the hikers. “Rev. Jill Graham, pastor for the First Congregational Church UCC, said that groups of volunteers from both local churches serve hikers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the summer, while guest volunteers from other churches serve hikers on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.”
Rev. Graham shared that this year alone, volunteers have helped hikers who came from Australia, Malaysia, England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. She shared that it is a blessing to be able to help people from all over the world and make a positive impact on their experience through simple acts of kindness.
While the “corner of kindness” tent helps hikers with the most important part of their journey, staying healthy and hydrated, the volunteers are giving them more than rejuvenating refreshments. By showing hikers that there are people out there who care about them, it gives them a reassuring state of mind that they are not alone. The volunteers who tend to the “corner of kindness” tent are spreading happiness, hope, faith, and love to anyone who walks by, and that thoughtful generosity and compassion is what makes the world a better place.