I'm spending the summer of 2017 hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile "wild and scenic pathway" from Mexico to Canada, and it's important to me that I use this opportunity not just to realize my own goals but also to raise awareness and funds for a cause that I believe to be incredibly important. Two things I am passionate about are (1) empowering youth and (2) the idea that spending time outdoors can be healing, magical, and life-changing. That's why I'm fundraising for Big City Mountaineers.
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.
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!
Huge shoutout to Amanda "Zuul" Jameson, aka Brown Girl on the PCT, for inspiring me to fundraise with my PCT hike and introducing me to Big City Mountaineers. She successfully fundraised more than $2,000 for the organization with her PCT hike last year, and I would not be doing this fundraiser were it not for hers.
For more information on Big City Mountaineers, visit: http://www.bigcitymountaineers.org/about/
For more information about me and my PCT thru-hike, visit my blog: https://vanessapamela.com
Thank you so much for reading and for considering making a donation! I appreciate you and your help more than I can say.