Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Starting the project

Hi! My name is Sarah MacDonald, a Colorado native living and working in Littleton. If you've made your to this blog, I am hoping you have heard about the project I am getting started called the Climbs for Courage Project. About 6-8 months ago I felt compelled to find a meaningful way of combining my love for mountaineering, my history of trauma and loss, and deep desire to give back into something bigger. In the months since, I have developed the vision and mission for the project, described below, and am working on getting it started by June or July of 2010.
"Getting to the top is optional, making the journey worthwhile is not." S. MacDonald
The Vision:
A journey to the world's tallest peaks to meet the needs of a planet and all its inhabitants. A project that will likely span a decade (or more) and include summit attempts on virtually every continent and land mass.
The Mission:
For each summit attempted/reached, the goal will be to raise a minimum amount of money equivalent to the summit's elevation in feet. The money raised will go to different charities and non-profit groups.
My hope is to kick-off The CfC Project in 2010. Each year, starting in 2010, I will attempt to summit 2 peaks in honor of that year's 'campaign'. For each campaign, I will focus on raising money for a different need (i.e. hunger, violence, the environment, etc.) with the proceeds from that year's climbs going to a non-profit, charity, or other organization that supports the designated need. My goal for each campaign will be to raise as much money as possible.
I would like to raise an amount equivalent to the total elevation of the peaks climbed that year. Any advertising and marketing would center around that goal. For example, if Mt. Rainier (Washington state - 14,411 feet) and Kilimanjaro (Africa - 19,330) are the peaks selected for 2010's campaign, it could be referred to as 33,741 feet for hunger' and my ultimate goal would be to raise $33,741 for a non-profit organization that helps those in need of food and other necessities.
What can make a project like this unique enough to appeal to large amounts of people, especially in a tough economy? What makes it realisitc and marketable, yet big? COURAGE BANDS! Courage Bands are silicone wristbands (the bands themselves are similar to the yellow Lance Armstrong ones) inscribed with the phrase: Strengh Overcomes, Compassion Heals, Hope Endures. The phrase is Trademarked and owned by the CfC founder (me) and only available through the CfC Project. The purpose of the bands is to create and share something that not only serves as a tangible reminder affirming the good we are all capable of but also as a way to raise both money and awareness for the project itself.
**The project's preliminary budget has all net proceeds going to the campaign's beneficiary. My ultimate vision is for 100% of the band sales to go toward the designated non-profit. Right now, I am in the very beginning of attempting to get sponsors for the project that would be willing to help with costs. That would allow me to get closer to my goal of 100% going to non-profits.
The CfC Project, especially summiting a peak, is not unlike any other dream or challenge in that requires courage to draw on our inner potential. What situation in life doesn't ask certain qualities of us - strength, compassion, hope, or, more likely, all of these? Just about any, especially when it comes to realizing a dream, reaching a goal, or healing to overcome tragedy, trauma, or pain. The truth is, everyone posesses these qualities as part of the human condition and exclusive of status, borders, race, religion, and politics. That truth is sometimes lost, forgotten, or hard to remember. That's why it helps to have a reminder, something tangible like courage bands that represent and affirm the strength, compassion and hope within.
Please stay tuned:)