HAMPDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- This Saturday is the annual Hike for the Homeless fundraiser to benefit the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. Some Hampden Academy students will be participating in the hike, and they've come up with a new way to spread community awareness about the cause: by holding a practice Hike for the Homeless for young kids.
The high schoolers invited nearby McGraw Elementary School students to their track to give the kids a first hand look at what it would be like to participate in the fundraiser. About 350 students in grades kindergarten through second grade walked, ran and leap frogged their way around the track with the help of members of the Hampden Academy Leadership Club.
Club members say the practice hike was about more than just having fun and getting exercise; events like this teach kids at an early age about the importance of giving back to your community.
"If we introduce the kids to giving back now, there's no way to tell what benefits we're going to get in the future," said Andrya Ryan, a senior at Hampden Academy. "And plus, they can also tell their parents how much fun they had here raising awareness for it, and who knows? Their parents may actually bring them to the hike on Saturday."
Hampden Academy students will leave from the school on Saturday and hike 5.4 miles to the finish line at the Bangor waterfront. Those interested in joining the group can meet at the school at 9:30 AM.
If you are intersted in signing up for this year's Hike for the Homeless, or if you want to donate to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, visit www.hikingforthehomeless.org.