Hi hello it’s so nice to see you! I’m really glad you’re here because I’ve got some very exciting news to share today! I know, I know – I already told you that I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year and that I leave in just three short weeks. But guess what, I have even more exciting news! In honor of my PCT hike, I am raising funds for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), an organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions. Put simply, BCM helps kids who would never otherwise have the opportunity to explore the Great Outdoors get outside, learn about nature and themselves, and take an often much-needed break from day to day city life. It’s an incredible organization, and I’m honored to be able to use my PCT hike to raise awareness and funds for their work.
If you’re ready to donate to my fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers now, you can go ahead and click this link! Once you’re on my fundraising page click the orange DONATE button on the right side of the page and follow the instructions. Thank you for supporting this cause with me!
When I made the decision to hike the PCT, I knew I would want to organize a fundraiser to go along with my hike. One of my favorite 2016 PCT bloggers, Amanda “Zuul” from Brown Girl on the PCT, fundraised for Big City Mountaineers, and I credit her entirely with inspiring me to run this fundraiser and also for introducing me to such a rad organization. Here’s an excerpt from my fundraising page that explains why raising money for Big City Mountaineers is important to me:
Hiking the PCT has been a dream/goal of mine for a long time, and I’m so excited that I get to attempt it this year – but it’s impossible for me to follow through on this dream without acknowledging that in a lot of ways, it is a huge luxury. I’m able to leave my job, my room, my girlfriend, my friends — basically my whole life! — and take five months to hike, camp, and live outside, just because I want to, and I am incredibly grateful for all the circumstances that make this possible for me. It would mean a lot to me to be able to help others who do not have the same support systems I do to experience the joy I feel when I’m outside, and that’s where Big City Mountaineers (and you!) come in.
Big City Mountaineers is the nation’s leading wilderness mentoring organization, providing close to 1,000 under-served urban youths per year the opportunity to go on backcountry expeditions that sharpen their decision-making skills, help them develop a strong sense of integrity and responsibility, and bolster their self-esteem. The core values that Big City Mountaineers follow all speak to me, but the one that stands out most is the following: “We are united by a devotion to young people and a hope for their future.” If this moves you in the same way it moves and motivates me, I am asking you to donate to this fundraiser. Just $5 supports a teen’s full day in the backcountry; I am aiming to raise $2,650, one dollar for every mile I will walk, all the way from Mexico to Canada.
To be completely honest, I personally feel as though we are currently living in very dire times, and because of that I initially had a hard time choosing an organization to highlight for this fundraiser. There are so many groups that need our help now more than ever – the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, Lambda Legal, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press… the list truly feels never-ending.
So why did I choose Big City Mountaineers instead of any one of these organizations? For a few reasons.
1. I think many of the larger organizations (like the ACLU) are getting a lot of publicity right now, and while they absolutely deserve our dollars (please keep giving the ACLU your dollars!) I believe they will get them with or without my fundraiser. With that in mind, I wanted to choose a smaller, less well-known organization that may not be receiving such an outpouring of funds right now. Big City Mountaineers has been around since 1990 and has more than proven their worth, but I found most people I mention the organization to have never heard of it. I’m hoping to raise visibility as well as funds for Big City Mountaineers and their work with this fundraiser.
2. I wanted to pick an organization that focused on the environment and getting people outdoors, because that fits with the theme of taking a hike. It was also important to me to pick an organization that prioritizes and elevates people of color. Finally, I really wanted an organization that partners with local communities to do on the ground work together, rather than one that comes in and speaks over the people it purports to help. Big City Mountaineers fits all this criteria and then some.
3. I truly believe that our only hope for the future is to focus on raising a generation of empowered, kind, responsible humans determined to smash the patriarchy, dismantle white supremacy, challenge gender roles, and care for our environment more than they care about capitalism. I feel confident that Big City Mountaineers is doing tangible work to help raise that generation, and I want to help them do it. I hope you will help me!
Every little bit counts, so please do not feel that any $$ amount is too small. And if you are unable to donate monetarily to this fundraiser but still believe in its mission, I would love you to share it on your social networks, blog about it, or tell your friends and family about it via word of mouth. I will thank everyone who donates by name on my blog (unless you don’t want me to), and if you donate $36 or more I will send you a postcard from the trail!
I would also like to plan something fun and/or silly to do if I meet my fundraising goal – $2,650 by the time I reach Canada. If anyone has a good idea about what my celebratory action could be, let me know! I don’t think I’ll be donning a dinosaur costume and dancing at the Northern monument, but I am open to suggestions. Thank you so, so much for your support. Truly.