Kids matter, and the tragic circumstances and home lives that some kids must face, is not the end of the story. Healing for at-risk kids in physical, spiritual, and emotional ways is absolutely possible. I know because in many ways it’s my story.

I grew up in a tough home environment, and the stress of poverty and the weight of our circumstances felt like too much to handle sometimes. My response was often violence, which caused me to get suspended multiple times, almost expelled, and eventually led to my brief incarceration in a juvenile detention center when I was in 8th grade.

That is a brief part of my story, and was not the end for me. Today I am a new man who has  experienced great personal healing through God and the community of people in place around me. I have lived firsthand the life of an at- risk kid and the transformation that is possible.

As a result of how my life was changed, my goal is to give back and do whatever it takes to help kids facing big obstacles. To do this practically, I will be climbing Mt. Rainier in Seattle, WA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier) during August 18-20, 2013 w/ 3 other friends. Our goal is to reach the 14, 411 ft. Summit.

Mt. Rainier at sunset with a lenticular cloud

I have done a ton of research on Rainier, and this thing is a monster. Roughly 10,000 people attempt to reach the 14,411 ft. summit each year and only a little over half (around 6,000) make it to the top.

Why so daunting? On Rainier, you are literally walking up one giant glacier that slopes at a high angle, often has poor weather conditions, and we get 3 days to do it. We will be climbing about 3,000-5,000 ft. each day. Not to mention we have to carry a 40lb pack on our backs.

The climb starts at around 5,000 ft. elevation, with a little over 9,000 to climb.  That’s over 2 miles straight up!

Getting back down the mountain will be the worst part. We will have to sit down and go on what promises to be a great “sled-ride” as we all slide down together.

It will all be worth it though because we are doing it for a good cause. We will attempt to raise money for the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (http://www.ccho.org/). Our total goal is $20,000 as each person has committed to raise at least $5000.

Their mission is to “bring healing to hurting children & families.” For more than 40 years, and with programs in 16 locations throughout OH, including many counseling centers and a Children’s Residential Center where kids get the care they need, CCHO is a beacon of light for at-risk kids.

There will be a ton of physical training involved, and I will be training up to 6 days a week lifting weights, doing lots of cardio, and climbing anywhere and everywhere I can with my pack on to get used to the weight.I will be tracking my progress in every aspect of this climb, so stay tuned for more info.

P.s. I need good music to listen to as I hike up the mountain. I’m thinking some Lupe Fiasco, Foo Fighters, maybe a little Mumford & Sons.

What would you recommend for my playlist?

 

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