Children and Veterans are two of the most vulnerable populations in our country today. Both groups are at higher risk for exploitation and abuse. Both groups are too-often forgotten in our society today, and deeply in need of support and care.

CLIMB FOR THE KIDS

Over 18,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer next year. 1,700 will die.

Ryan Kelley, President & Founder

Children rely on us to make decisions for them. They’re dependent on others to satisfy even their most basic needs. And in the case of children who are battling serious illnesses, facing poverty, or separated from their parents, this vulnerability is magnified.

Children are America’s future. And Veterans have A wise saying goes tells us it takes a village to raise a child. That’s why children facing hardship need us to step up, offering them advocacy, support, and care.

Switching the Summit

Switching the Summit is a short documentary film about the limitations of childhood cancer research which focuses on the stories of Alec Ingram and Elizabeth Weidner, both of whom experienced pediatric cancer. It is also an introduction to the Keep Climbing Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and awareness for cancer research and other causes. This film was a part of our 2019 Climb for the Kids event in Ecuador climbing Cotopaxi Volcano.

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2020 CFTK, More Than A Crown

Imagine being told as a child that you have stage 4 cancer. Elizabeth Weidner used her battle and her crown as Jr. Miss Effingham County Fair to inspire action for kids struggling with this terrible disease. Our team heard her cry for help and used it as motivation to summit mountains in Alaska during our Climb for the Kids 2021. We raised over $64,000 for pediatric cancer to help kids live full and healthy lives.

2021 CFTK, Appalachian Trail

In October 2021, we climbed 21 miles over 3 days on the Appalachian Trail to the highest point in Georgia. Our motivation and inspiration were the families at Ronald McDonald House Charities. Our climbers raised over $50,000 for this great cause.

2018 CFTK, Grand Tetons

For the 4th annual Climb for the Kids, our team traveled to Jackson Hole, WY to climb one of our nation’s greatest mountains, The Grand Teton – an elevation of 13,776 feet. With your help, we raised upwards of $50,000 for: Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, FightDMD, Friends of Kids with Cancer, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and Alec Ingram’s Fight with Cancer.

Interested in Climb for the Kids?

HERO LOAN CLIMB

Veterans are 1.5 times more at-risk for suicide and are at a far higher risk for serious mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress, substance abuse disorders, and depression.

Matt Murphy, Hero Loan

Veterans are another uniquely vulnerable group in our society, more so than most Americans know. Compared to the general population, Veterans are 1.5 times more at-risk for suicide[1] and are at a far higher risk for serious mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress, substance abuse disorders, and depression[2].

[1] SOURCE: U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (2018). VA National Suicide Data Report: 2015-2016. [2] SOURCE: National Institute on Drug Abuse (2019). Substance Use and Military Life.

Veterans, military personnel, and their families are targeted by scammers at a higher rate than civilians[3]. Veterans are even at a greater risk of homelessness than civilians[4]. Our nation’s Veterans have sacrificed so much for us already. We owe it to them to ensure their needs are being met and their contributions celebrated.

[3] SOURCE: AARP (2021). https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2021/scams-report.html [4] SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2015). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25595171/

2022 Hero Loan Climb, Missouri

The Hero Loan Climb 2022 was a great success! The stormy weather didn’t stop us. We braved the elements and raised over $20,000 for Fisher House Foundation! Our climb helped sponsor the build of a new home in Columbia, MO!

2022 Bataan Memorial Death March

Our teams across seven states raised almost $8,000 for Fisher House so they can keep even more military families together during times of medical need. This year meant even more as Bob Kelley, USAF, rucked with us and shared his incredible journey.

Hero Loan Climb 2021, Guadalupe Peak

We were able to raise over $11k for Fisher House Foundation while summiting Guadalupe Peak. We stood on the top of Texas all to support our military families. 100% of money raised was donated to Fisher House.

Children are America’s future. And Veterans have given us America’s present. Join us in helping these important groups thrive, succeed, and be heard.

Keith Austin
Executive Director

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