Great Impact for Our Youth-Footholds Foundation

North Central Washington has world-class access to outdoor recreation, but not everyone gets to enjoy it.

The heartbreaking part is this includes kids, mostly because they simply can’t afford the cost of the trips or equipment or the time away from their or their parents jobs that those trips take. The kids aren’t making a choice, in other words, to stay inside. Many haven’t even had the opportunity to visit a special place beyond their neighborhood.

These same kids would probably benefit the most from climbing: They’re more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, feel unsupported or struggle in school. Climbing can help with all those issues, as can any outdoor activity. That’s why the Footholds Foundation exists.

The non-profit, founded in 2017, provides not only the climbing gear but the opportunity to kids regardless of their circumstances.

We want kids to connect with the outdoors to build their sense of self, feel empowered and create healthy habits. We also have a secondary, admittedly more self-serving goal: Kids who spend time in the outdoors grow up as adults ready to conserve and even defend our most precious places for future generations.

Footholds, like many small organizations, is in need of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and expertise to the organization, and here’s the good part: You don’t have to be a climber. Footholds, in fact, needs special help from those skilled in event coordination, advertising, social media and fundraising. We have a few climbers. We just need people who know how to get the word out and let others know about the great opportunities we are offering kids.

Donations, of course, are always welcome, but if people could help us connect with those willing to give the kind of significant financial support to help Footholds thrive, that would be even better.

Our accomplishments so far are many, including a partnership with Riverfront Rock Gym in Wenatchee, a bank of dozens of climbing volunteers and a relationship with Mountain Madness to lead outdoor climbing events.

We have also connected with many organizations to help us reach the kids we believe could benefit the most from our work. These include Team Naturaleza (an organization connecting Latino families with the outdoors), the alternative WestSide High School, foster kids through the Department of Children and Family Services and migrant families.

We’ve also hosted an outdoor climbing day with Team Naturaleza, sponsored three free climbing nights of up to 60 kids, sponsored a field trip for 14 Westsider students, supported an open climbing night for 25 foster kids, and we are even sponsoring a student on a climbing team at Riverfront Rock Gym.

We hope to expand the climbing events, including offering more trips, sponsoring more kids for Riverfront’s climbing teams and purchasing more gear to give to kids. We would also love to form a three-month climbing mentorship for underserved kids.

We can’t do this without your help. We hope you can help us show kids what it means to be involved in the outside world.

How To Get Involved:

  • To donate to Footholds non-profit agency click here.
  • Follow Footholds through their website and Facebook page for upcoming event information including their climb-a-thon on 11/16/19.
  • If you or someone you know is interested in rock climbing support, please fill out an application on the Footholds website or click here.

If you are interested in volunteering or joining Footholds board, please send a message via the website by clicking here or directly to: footholdscorp@gmail.com.

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