Amanda helps fight depression
Fight depression. This is a personal sense very close to my heart.
A few years ago, shortly before we left Illinois, I had the good fortune to meet Amanda McCarthy. She is the daughter of Mark Soliday, who grew up down the street from us on Sacramento Avenue in Homewood. So, I will let the video and article tell Amanda’s amazing, incredible, and inspiring story. What drove her to start Urban Nerd Herd, a wonderful hiking group to fight depression. (Watch the video AND read the article — they are both superb and inspirational.)
Solution to depression
But from that first hike in Deer Park, I could tell how dedicated Amanda was. Using hiking to help other people to improve their mental health. As she had done herself. What is amazing is that Amanda has built Urban Nerd Herd from the ground up. Above all, taking care of her family, including a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son who is autistic. Also, going back to school to work on a nursing degree.
Help with the fight
Amanda has gotten interest and support from a major nationally known hiking footwear company. She draws as many as 30 people to her hikes of the hidden natural gems in the greater metropolitan Chicago area as well as Indiana and Wisconsin.
But even more important and impressive, Amanda has built a strong organization with dedicated volunteers who help her to achieve the mission of Urban Nerd Herd. I’ve built volunteer organizations from the ground up. I stand in awe of everything Amanda has accomplished to help others through Urban Nerd Herd. Especially with the challenges she faces every day in her own life, and the limited resources she has. Therefore, Urban Nerd Herd is a true labor of love for Amanda.
I have long felt in today’s society that too much of the spotlight is focused on the supposed “great” people. The movie stars, athletes and politicians; and not enough attention is focused on the everyday good people who achieve great things. With much fewer resources to make a tangible, deeply profound impact on other people. Therefore, our community, and our world at large.
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Blog Written By: Tim Boivin
Date Written: March 8th, 2020