Climbing for A Cause Halfway Point: Supporting Refugees During the Global Pandemic

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University of Denver student, Brittney “Bert” Woodrum, has a lot to celebrate this week. Over the past weekend, she summited Mt. Princeton, the 29th peak and official half-way point on her latest undertaking, hiking all 58 of Colorado’s Fourteeners with an iconic ShelterBox on her back. Her incredible trek has already raised over $40,000 for disaster relief organization, ShelterBox, who works to provide emergency shelter and supplies to families after a disaster.

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Brittney at the Summit of Mt. Belford

“When I started this project, I never imagined how much positive feedback I would receive, and words cannot express how grateful I feel to have the opportunity to share ShelterBox’s mission both on and off the mountain each and every day.”

University of Denver student, Brittney “Bert” Woodrum, has a lot to celebrate this week. Over the past weekend, she summited Mt. Princeton, the 29th peak and official half-way point on her latest undertaking, hiking all 58 of Colorado’s Fourteeners with an iconic ShelterBox on her back. Her incredible trek has already raised over $40,000 for disaster relief organization, ShelterBox, who works to provide emergency shelter and supplies to families after a disaster.

“When I started this project, I never imagined how much positive feedback I would receive, and words cannot express how grateful I feel to have the opportunity to share ShelterBox’s mission both on and off the mountain each and every day.”

Brittney became an Ambassador for ShelterBox last year in hopes of raising awareness and funding to provide shelter and vital supplies to disaster victims around the world. “The Fourteeners Project” as dubbed by Brittney, has done just that, garnering an outpouring of support from individuals, Rotarians, and Rotary clubs alike through the sponsorship of mountain peaks. The funds raised by her project will help provide vulnerable displaced families with a place to call home through this coronavirus outbreak. To date, she is almost halfway to reaching her goal of raising $100,000, and with 29 peaks left to go, there is still plenty of time to support this amazing woman on her journey. Of course, anyone is encouraged to sponsor at any level they can.

Brittney’s mission has also gained considerable momentum online with hundreds following her journey on The Fourteener’s Project Facebook page where she shares daily posts and photos at the summit of each mountain top (sometimes two). Woodrum has even sparked a movement, inspiring others to get outside and hike, then post their own summit photos on her page in support.

Her plan to climb hike all 58 of Colorado’s Fourteeners came about after being quarantined at home for months at the onset of the outbreak. “There has never been a more pivotal moment for this project than now. Shelter plays a huge role in the health and safety of individuals. If you do not have shelter, it’s impossible to shelter in place, and pandemics like these impact vulnerable populations the most.”

Her journey began in July with Pike’s Peak and she plans to summit all 58 peaks by the end of September. If you are wondering how she will manage climbing one 14,000 foot plus mountain every day, you need only look at her track record. As an avid thru-hiker, she has completed the entirety of the Appalachian Trail (2,184 miles) as well as the Camino de Santiago (just over 500 miles through France and Spain). She is an avid outdoorswoman and is happiest when surrounded by nature.

“My mission is to be of service wherever there be a need.” said Bert. This belief has taken her to nearly every corner of the planet, leading community projects in Mexico, facilitating outdoor education programs in Thailand, and even starting an English school for Buddhist nuns in Myanmar. “I sometimes worry that my career resembles an odd hopscotch game, but the common thread amongst these opportunities has been my desire to help others and learn about their respective communities. No matter where I go, I hope to never stop learning and helping others.”

Bert has chosen international disaster relief charity ShelterBox to be the recipient of all funds raised. Despite the global pandemic, they are continuing to provide emergency shelter and supplies to families displaced by disaster and conflict to help protect them from the disease.

Shelter is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19. ShelterBox is working with partners in places like Syria, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ethiopia, finding new ways to tackle the challenges and adapt to changing circumstances during this pandemic. The emergency shelter they provide enables social distancing by helping to move families out of overcrowded collective centers and reduce the risk of transmission of the infection by providing families with personal aid items like water filters, blankets and cooking sets. Their teams are customizing their standard aid packages to include soap and handwashing basins and they have modified their distribution practices by distributing to smaller groups, encouraging social distancing, and using personal protective equipment. In some responses, they have a healthcare representative at the distribution to promote health and hygiene practices.

Learn more and learn how you can be involved by visiting her website at http://www.ShelterBoxUSA.org/Fourteeners, or by contacting her directly via email: brittney.woodrum@gmail.com. Bert and her team are inviting Rotary Clubs, Scouts and other service organizations to join her in raising money and summiting peaks.

About Brittney

Brittney Woodrum is currently earning a master’s degree in Humanitarian Assistance at the University of Denver. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a focus in Nonprofit Administration and Spanish and over the past four years has put her education to good use, working for a variety of NGOs across the globe. In her free time, Bert enjoys studying languages, cycling, and hiking.

For additional information, or to interview Ms. Woodrum, please contact her at: 859 559 8923 or via email using the address above.

About ShelterBox
Since 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth, and dignity following more than 300 disasters in over 100 countries. ShelterBox responds urgently to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami, or conflict by delivering boxes of essential shelter, aid and other lifesaving supplies. Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, a water filtration system, emergency lighting, and other tools for survival. ShelterBox USA is based in Santa Barbara, California.

ShelterBox is an official Project Partner of Rotary International. Tax deductible donations to the organization can be made at http://www.ShelterBoxUSA.org or by calling (907) 854-0901.

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