Kristy Greenwalt fundraising for GIVE US WINGS
"Climbing Kilimanjaro" is a fundraising & volunteer opportunity designed to support the development of a school in rural Kenya.
WHERE WILL I BE VOLUNTEERING, AND WHAT WILL I BE DOING? Grace Kingatua and her husband John live on their fenced-in 5-acre farm; it’s a beautiful oasis in the midst of the drought in the Rift Valley. The Kingatua farm will be the backdrop for our volunteer project with the Maasai people. Today, the people in this community learn in a small 12’ x 15’ tin school with a dirt floor. They are so eager to learn that many walk up to five hours a day – two or more hours each way - after completing their daily chores. With your support, we’d like to change that. We will be spending approximately one week in the Rift Valley laying the foundation of the school. In addition, each volunteer will spend one day with a family, experiencing the rare opportunity to live life through their eyes. After we have laid the foundation – literally and figuratively – we will continue on to the next part of our challenge: Climbing Kilimanjaro.
WHY KILIMANJARO? Most people have heard of walkathons, marathons, and bike rides designed to raise money for a special cause. Climbing Kilimanjaro is based on the same concept. At 19,344 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the largest volcanoes ever to break through the Earth's crust and the highest free standing mountain in the world. The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature, and life as the altitude increases. We will begin our trip at approximately 80°F, and when we make it to the summit 7 days later, we will face temperatures between 0 and -15°F. We will ascend approximately 13,000 feet in 7 days, hiking between 4 and 10 hours a day. The challenge we will be undertaking is symbolic of the challenges of daily life in Africa, particularly in remote villages such as the Rift Valley. I think of the following quote by Albert Einstein: “It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” For me, this trip is one way of doing that. It’s also an opportunity for you to do that by helping me raise the $5,000 for the school.
HOW WILL YOUR GIFT BE USED? Approximately 90% of the funds raised will go towards the Maasai school. Approximately 10% (or less, depending on how much I raise) will be used for in-country travel (i.e., vans from Kenya to Tanzania), park fees, and the African-based outfitter that will be leading us to the summit. I feel positive about this because 100% of the funds raised will remain in Africa – either with the school or to support local businesses. I will personally be contributing the cost of my travel to and from Kenya, my visas, my vaccinations, equipment/gear, and of course, my time and labor. My goal is to meet my fundraising commitment by the end of the summer so I can focus on training and trip preparation as I move into the fall. All donations are of course tax-deductible, and I encourage you to see if your employer offers matching contributions to double the impact of your gift. Additionally, if you would like to donate but prefer to send a check, please let me know and I will gladly get you a donation envelope.
On behalf of the Maasai people, THANK YOU for your generosity.