Brittney Woodrum of Denver, Colorado, never got to follow through with her travel plans this summer, but she found an even better way to spend all her extra free time.
A humanitarian at heart, the graduate student wanted to help families affected by COVID-19. She was ready to do whatever it took — including climbing 58 mountains.
When the pandemic began, the 27-year-old saw an opportunity to make a difference. So she became an ambassador for ShelterBox, an international disaster relief organization. Then she set out on a fundraising mission. Her goal? Climbing the Fourteeners — the 58 mountain peaks in Colorado with an elevation of 14,000 feet of higher — while carrying the nonprofit’s symbolic green box.
“I was thinking there had to be something I can do to raise awareness and make a big, positive impact with the least amount of negative impact,” Brittney told People. “It seems fitting that I should go out and find some physical mountains to climb as we as a global community are coming together to overcome this metaphorical mountain that is COVID-19.”
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Brittney started hiking on July 10 and climbed one mountain a day (with one rest day per week) over the next two months. And hoping to minimize the spread of COVID-19, she either slept in a tent or her car.
She ascended the final peak on September 26 with close to 600 miles under her belt. Even more impressive, though, was the fact that she raised $85,000 for the nonprofit’s COVID-19 relief fund!
While she never imagined she’d make such an impact, Brittney says it’s because like her, most people want to help those in need.
“Word seemed to spread very quickly and a lot of people were equally impassioned by ShelterBox’s mission and what I was doing,” she told CNN. “I have an immense amount of gratitude to everyone who came out to support me both virtually & physically.”
Way to go, Brittney! What you accomplished this year will directly improve others’ lives, and no trip could ever top that.
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