Mark Delorey via Crowdrise
April 05, 2011
You now have the chance to support two organizations that inspire people with challenges to live full and active lives, No Barriers http://www.nobarriersusa.org and Global Explorers http://www.globalexplorers.org. Here's the story. (Make sure you read what Andrea and Mark each added at the bottom!)
It's about transformation, really, and the life experiences that get you there. Nobody says it will be easy along the way. Barriers abound. The goal is is to get past them, so that you can find what lies beyond. This is certainly a lesson we want to teach our four-year-old son, Jack.
So whatever barriers we may have ourselves, we are climbing the highest mountain in Colorado, Mount Elbert (the Everest of Colorado, if we may). Mount Elbert is 14,440 feet above sea level, and our goal is each to raise a dime per foot (ok, technically we are not climbing all 14,440 feet as we'd have to start from sea level, but think symbolically).
Mark will be doing this climb on May 20th as part of a team that includes wounded soldiers and Everest veterans, led by Erik Weihenmayer, famed blind climber who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Mount Everest summit. If our fundraising goal is met, Andrea will also have the chance to join the expedition. If she's unable to do the climb in May, then she will summit Elbert this summer.
All of your donations will support life-transforming adventures for people with disabilities and youth. No Barriers inspires what is possible both in the commercial field of adaptive devices and technologies, and in our personal lives. Global Explorers offers life-changing educational travel experiences for youth with and without disabilities.
So please rise up and support the ability to overcome barriers and explore the earth. Together we can truly make a difference for this cause. Donate now and help us reach our goal!
More often than not, someone soliciting financial support will have some personal connection to the cause they are supporting. I don't exactly. I have always led an active life and have been fortunate enough to have few barriers to such a lifestyle. This is not true for some. The loss of sight, hearing, or use of limbs would be devastating to me, and so I am in incredible awe of the courage and spirit of those who have such barriers but refuse to use them as excuses not to live the way they want to. I am extremely excited to have this chance to climb with Erik. I have met him briefly before and heard him talk. He is an incredibly inspiring person. Additionally, climbing with wounded war veterans is meaningful to me because we were not able to stop the war from happening but now maybe I can do some small thing for a few of those who suffered for it.
I don't think I can say much more than my wonderful husband. But I guess I can add that I DO have a personal connection to Global Explorers as a member of their board of directors. While Global Explorers supports all youth learning through travel, GEx also has several programs that specifically support kids who are blind or deaf. These kids do things like hike the Inca Trail in Peru, and raft the Grand Canyon. It certainly does inspire awe.
In addition, we are personally honoring my grandfather, Ray Elbert Smith, a World War II veteran who died of natural causes last year. At birth my grandpa was named "Elbert," but his parents later decided that "Ray" suited him better. So the name of Mount Elbert holds special meaning for us!