I have been actively striving to volunteer weekly for the past three years (except during my travel stint as I was simply moving around too much). I decided to start tracking my volunteer work on the Wasatchgirl site, but occasionally update the Cragbaby if my weekly volunteer work is climbing or traveling related, or if it is an organization I have recently covered on the Wasatchgirl.
During the week of July 17, I volunteered with the University Venture Fund and also, thanks to my friend Pang who was visiting, donated platelets at Utah Blood while Pang donated whole blood.
I have written about Utah Blood many times, but wanted to remind people to donate. Utah Blood sees a decrease in donations during the month of July due to the dual Utah holidays, yet there are still people in need. They are currently experiencing a 33% increase in demand.
You can stay abreast of Utah Blood’s needs by visiting their site, subscribing to their Blood Blog, joining their Facebook page or following their twitter stream. To make an appointment at their Research Park or Murray location, call 801-584-5272.
I met Tacos Satoko in Rocktown as she was one of the few climbers camping at the Sawmill Campground. We climbed together on two days and she spent a handful of evenings hanging out around the camp fire.
Tacos, a very kind, quiet girl, was planning on traveling for a bit through the US prior to heading back up to Canada, where she had been working. But this past week, en route to Alberta, she was in a horrible car accident, resulting in a broken neck. She was flown to Casper Medical Center in Wyoming where she underwent surgery for the broken neck, but currently has little movement from the shoulders down. She has regained some feeling in her toes and fingers and her breathing has become easier over the last few days. She has also gotten help to sit in a chair for a few minutes per day and is remaining positive that she will recover and be able to rock climb again in the future.
Her home is in Japan and though she has health insurance, it does not cover the cost to fly her home. In her current situation she will need help covering the cost of the 3 first class flights (necessary due to the 2 caregivers who must accompany her) plus the wages and expenses for these caregivers. Also, her insurance does not cover physiotherapy, which if not started soon can impact her chance of full recovery.
The exact cost is unknown at this time, but it is estimated that she will need approximately $10,000. Please consider helping out a fellow climber and making a donation to the cause.
To donate, click on the “ChipIn” button above. All donations are directly deposited to her paypal account.
It would also be great if any of you readers could help spread the word. If you are a blogger and want to add this widget to your blog, there is a copy button on the widget or feel free to email me at wasatchgirl at gmail.com for the appropriate code.
I have started to write about my weekly volunteer work on my WasatchGirl blog. But this past week my volunteer work was climbing related, so seemed more appropriate to post on this site. (Note that I also have further travel posts to come, but this is a quick interruption.)
The 2009 volunteer crew.
This past week I accompanied my friend Pang to Grand Teton Climber’s Ranch to help with work week. Grand Teton Climber’s Ranch is part of the American Alpine Hut System and is located in Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming creating easy access for peak attempts. The facilities include 6-8 bunk cabins with indoor restrooms, a main cooking area, a library, showers and even a small rock wall. =)
The cabins stay in good condition due to the annual work week, the first week of June, where people from all over the nation come to stain cabins, fix trails, repair plumbing and electrical work, etc. As a thank you to the volunteers, the ranch allows the volunteers to stay for the full month free of charge. Pang and I only had the week off and so went to strictly volunteer, having a seriously perfect week!
Pang (pictured here) and I were part of the staining crew on a couple days. I found myself really enjoying staining, being able to slop paint over a wide area. Pang was a bit more meticulous. =)
One of the simple pleasures from the work were the two robin’s nest filled with eggs, resting on the main lodge.
Upon work week completion, the entire volunteer crew carries the sign (donning beer, of course) to it’s hanging post on the road.
It really was quite amazing all the work this team of approximately 15 jammed out during the week. On the last day we ate pizza, drank beer and listened to fellow volunteers provide tunes. I must admit that I love these type of “climber hangouts”. It is such a cool experience to stay in a place where everyone has the same passion. This year Pang and I were the only people in our 20 – 30′s with the majority of the volunteers being 50+, providing us with numerous fabulous tales of all the different peaks in the world they had summitted.
If interested in staying at the Grand Teton Climber’s Ranch, you can make reservations online or call 307.733.7271. The rates are $10 for Alpine Club members and $20 for non-members, these rates being the most affordable and accessible in the park. Note that there is a no-dog policy.
My friend Melissa and I volunteering with No More Homeless Pets in Utah.
I am an avid volunteer, but to date have published few blog posts concerning my weekly service. I have decided to start posting where I volunteer each week in hopes of spreading the organization’s mission and encouraging others to get involved. Previously any volunteer entries were put on this blog, but I have decided to transition the majority of my future posts to my Wasatchgirl blog. If interested in these volunteer posts, please stop by and read about this week’s service at No More Homeless Pets in Utah.
My friend Lil’ Chicka is a strong advocate of pet adoption and volunteers regularly with No More Homeless Pets in Utah. She truly inspires me with her devotion to the cause and so I wanted to re-post an entry she recently wrote:
Hello faithful readers! Please take less than 10 seconds out of your busy days to vote for No More Homeless Pets on the rescuesite.com’s Shelter Challenge.
Go here, and then type in No More Homeless Pets in Utah- 1 click, and Voile! you’re done. No registration required.
Thanks for supporting our local awesome no kill program! We will receive a $20000 grant if we win.
I initially had a couple hiccups when trying to vote, but noticed that the shelter name should be “No More Homeless Pets” and the State needs to be Utah. (I was trying to enter “No More Homeless Pets in Utah” as the Shelter.) If you did it correctly you will see the following box.
As many of your readers know, I am quite passionate about volunteering and being involved with small events that can potentially make a big impact. And today I stumbled upon a great idea organized by a fellow climber.
Laura Fitton, known online as Pistachio, is a social media consultant, mother of 2 plus a climber. She focuses her business efforts on using micro strategies to achieve macro results and over the holidays created the Well Wishes campaign, an effort to raise $25,000 for Charity Water in order to build an entire water project for a school or hospital in Africa through the simple asking of her online audience to contribute $2 each. You can read more about what she is doing here. Or if interested in donating, she is gathering donations mostly through TipJoy (for us Twitterers) or through credit card / paypal on her Charity Water page. If she raises $12,500 by january 21st (her birthday), she will receive a $5,000 match (equivalent to another village).
This Christmas was one of the best yet as I spent it volunteering with the Salvation Army, delivering meals to the elderly, shut in and homeless. I met two new friends (John and Matt) in the morning and we teamed up to deliver our 40 meals together since our assigned recipients were located in the same apartment complex near downtown Chattanooga. I had never delivered meals and I guess didn’t know what reaction to expect as we knocked on each individual door. To my pleasant surprise every single answered door garnered the same gratitude and holiday cheer.
“Americans give more to charity, per capita and as a percentage of gross domestic product, than the citizens of other nations.” (Forbes, December 2008)
Some of our knocks did go unanswered, creating a surplus of meals that we didn’t want to go to waste. We were able to find a handful of people interested in meals on the way to our cars, but then took the rest to a plaza on ML King Blvd where we had seen folks being served earlier in the day. We pulled up, donning our Salvation Army aprons, and were surprised to see hungry people running to our truck. Some of this crowd were grateful, while others were expectant and rude. Yet, all were hungry and we fed as many as we could, realizing just how many people were in need of food. That day the Chattanooga Salvation Army (with its approximate 50 volunteers) fed approximately 900 people.
The main food bank back home is the Utah Food Bank. In the past, donations have been a clunky process of dropping off food to a store or mailing in a check. I’m not sure if I would have donated again this year as the process seemed anything but personal. But prior to Christmas I received an email showing me their new website and the simple process of how to donate online, allowing me to choose what to donate.
Even if you have only a few spare dollars, consider stopping by. A simple $10 can buy a turkey (which is matched by Siegfried and Jensen) and can feed a good handful of people. And though the holidays have passed, there are folks who go to bed hungry all year round.
Why not stop by Utah Blood and give some blood or platelets?
As many of you readers know, I am an active platelet donor when at home and particularly love Utah Blood as all donations are used at the local hospitals. According to one of their latest blog posts, the holidays are their slowest time for donations. Why not swing in and give someone the gift of life? You can drop-in, but it is best to make an appointment by calling 801-584-5272.
Thanks to Lil’ Chicka’s blog, I have been enlighted to the Best Friends Animal Society. The Best Friend’s Animal Society is based in Kanab, Utah and is literally a sanctuary to animals, housing such animals as dogs, cats, horses, birds, pigs, etc. BF is actively involved in saving animals from disaster areas such as Hurricane Katrina and war zones and currently has an adoption rate of 75%. For those animals that are unadoptable or have high needs, they are guaranteed a safe haven for the rest of their lives.
The Lil’ Chicka and her husband recently spent some time volunteering with Best Friends and has created a great series of post including an Overview and a List of Things to Do while visitng. You can also see pics of her visit here.