Extending hope for residents of the Action Center of Jefferson County, CO

Extending hope for residents of the Action Center of Jefferson County, CO

One of the recipients oAction Center logof the Evergreen Trading giving fund, the charitable division within Evergreen Trading, is the Action Center of Jefferson County, CO. The Action Center is an agency that identifies and responds to the basic human needs of the residents of Jefferson County, CO.

We’re proud to have recently created a position within the Action Center that provides a six month After Care program for individuals and families leaving the shelter after the two month stay limit. This extra six months enables people leaving the shelter to stabilize their lives by gaining the extra time needed to secure permanent housing and a job that suits their needs.

The post-shelter After Care program has benefitted many since its inception. One touching story we’d like to share is that of D and her teenage daughter.

D, and her daughter entered the shelter in early spring 2014. She had been laid off and out of work to the point of no longer being able to make ends meet and pay her bills. In the shelter, D chose to do day labor in construction and eventually was hired by a company that provided her an opportunity to flourish with those skills. D’s daughter, in the meantime, buckled down at school and began improving her grades and standing.

D and her daughter transitioned from the shelter program into housing supported by an agency that helped out with rent each month, opted into After Care (AC), and continued their journey towards stability. They were able to keep their costs low through utilizing the After Care program supports which include access to the Action Center food bank, transportation assistance, household items and hygiene essentials, and case management. Through After Care they were even able to furnish their home with a dining room table, dressers and shelves.

D and her daughter set their six month goals which involved work, school and getting to a good financial place. With transportation assistance and case management support from After Care, D’s daughter was able to focus on finishing up truancy court, attending summer school and getting herself into a charter school of her choice

D set a goal of a better paying job and midway through After Care she was able to transition to another job that paid more and offered benefits. This came at the right time as the program that was paying for her housing had to stop abruptly due to funding challenges. Through her budgeting goal set in the program, D was able to take on this unexpected development and she and her daughter were able to stay in their apartment and begin paying the full monthly amount.

D also gained support and connection through the After Care Group which she attended regularly. Upon finishing the After Care program, D and her daughter are stable in housing (with money saved for rent ahead of time), her daughter is thriving at her new school and D is happily employed at a job she sees she can stay at for a long time to come.

Many more stories exist of people reclaiming their livelihood and self-esteem through the After Care program created by the Evergreen Trading Giving Fund. It’s an example of furthering our goal of making a difference within the local communities of our people.

Evergreen Trading makes it up Everest!

Evergreen Trading makes it up Everest!

Christine holding the ET banner at Base CampChristine has returned home after three weeks in Nepal climbing to Everest Base Camp One. See our original post on Christine Regan's trek up Everest.

We caught Christine in between naps as she acclimates back to the North American Mountain time zone, and asked her a few questions about her journey.

ET: You did this climb to raise money for CARE. How much did you personally raise?

CR: I was fortunate to get contributions from a lot of generous people and organizations, especially Evergreen Trading, but I raised a total of $5,700. The team that I was part of raised over $65,000.

ET: Besides raising all that money, what did you hope to accomplish with this trek up Mount Everest?

CR: I had a few goals. One was to get my body into shape and establish a strong exercise routine. As a side benefit, I ended up losing 16 lbs. While I wouldn't recommend Everest as a weight loss strategy, I guess it worked for me! I was also looking for a new travel adventure. I love to travel. Foreign travel feeds my soul in a way nothing else does. Spiritually, I was also looking to reinforce my belief in myself that I am stronger than I think I am, and capable of more than I may believe. In the end, I accomplished each of my goals.

Christine in front of Everest

ET: What was the most gratifying aspect of the climb?

CR: I think it was facing my fears that came up throughout the trek. I was a little nervous about being the only American and not having met the team. They had several months to train together and had time to bond and connect, and I was just a stranger showing up the day we blasted off on this new adventure. It was a little intimidating.

My bigger fears that kept coming up were: Am I in good enough shape to handle the climb?  Will I survive this? After all, people die climbing these altitudes. But I did survive, and I made friends with several members of my team. It was gratifying confronting and then getting past my fears.

 

ET: What was the most difficult aspect of it all?

CR: The constant health challenges that I had. I flew over there with an ear infection and severe allergies which gave me horrific sinus problems. Then, eating some local food, I developed two food borne illnesses. I had nightly migraines from altitude sickness which kept me from sleeping, so I was exhausted on the treks each day and that contributed to twisting both ankles. The lack of oxygen is the biggest problem. I started getting horrific migraines on the mountain, and was quite nervous about the altitude sickness, acute mountain sickness, and HACE [High Altitude Cerebral Edema]. All threats you face when you start dealing with high altitude.

I especially got nervous when Shawn Dawson, our team leader warned us that headaches were normal, and he referred to those that span the front part of your head. But headaches that span the back part of your cranium can be very, very dangerous. And those were the kind of headaches I was getting each night. My head would feel like it was going to explode. It was so painful that for several nights, they brought me to tears. It didn't help that a friend told me just before I left that her neighbor's son died at base camp suddenly without warning from HACE. So it was a very real fear present each day.

ET: You are a marketing person, right? What can Everest teach us about business?

CR: The only constants about Everest are change and adversity. You have to be flexible and constantly adapt to the weather. You need to take it one step at a time. You need to be a little courageous and step outside your comfort zone.  You need to have faith in yourself and if you do, what you will find is that you cannot run or hide from yourself on the mountain. Who you are – the real you – comes out under that pressure. That can either be a you that inspires others or the you that humiliates yourself. Put another way, your character shows up loud and clear on the mountains. I think that business leadership today can learn a lot from Everest.

Can I thank Evergreen Trading? Gordon and Kaethe Zellner, and their Evergreen Trading Giving Fund really helped me kick-start my fund raising momentum, and for that I'm grateful.

Now it's your turn. As a comment below, share a meaningful goal that you want to achieve. Remember: It's often been said that writing down and sharing a goal makes it much more likely you'll achieve it.

 

Christine’s itinerary as she climbs Everest

Christine’s itinerary as she climbs Everest

People have been asking about Christine as she ascends to Base Camp one on Mount Everest – see the post A humanitarian and personal journey up Mount Everest

She is doing well, but experiencing the natural effects of the cold and of the much thinner air. She's armed with a good camera, so we should have some great looking shots upon her return.

Since people have been asking her whereabouts, here's her itinerary through the climb:

Date Activity  
4/23 Arrive Kathmandu  
4/24 In Kathmandu – Guided half-day city tour  
4/25 Trek to Phakdingma  
4/26 At Namche Bazaar – Acclimatisation  
4/27 Trek to Thyangboche  
4/28 Trek to Dingboche  
4/29 Rest and acclimatise in Dingboche  
4/30 Trek to Lobuche  
5/1 Excursion to Everest Base Camp and trek to Gorekshep  
5/2 Excursion to Kalapathar and return to Periche  
5/3 Trek to Namche Bazaar  
5/4 Trek to Lukla    
5/5 Fly to Kathmandu  
5/6 In Kathmandu  
5/7 Trip concludes in Kathmandu  
     

 

A humanitarian and personal journey up Mount Everest

A humanitarian and personal journey up Mount Everest

Evergreen Trading is proud to be a sponsor of Christine Regan in her climb to base camp one on Mount Everest. Her climb will take her 18,192 feet to the south base camp in Nepal.

Her climb and that of her climbing companions will raise money for CARE to assist in their fight against global poverty. The Evergreen Trading Giving Fund has donated money to support Christine in her challenging but very worthwhile effort.

While you may have heard of CARE, you may not realize that CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because they believe that, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.

There is also a symbolic reason for Christine’s trek, and that is to provide her with a personal challenge that will require her to overcome fear and great physical difficulty by embracing a team and her own uncompromised resolve to reach a challenging goal.

Sharon Wood, the first North American woman to summit Everest and to do so on a new route and without Sherpa assistance, serves as inspiration to Christine. The following principles promoted by Sharon will serve to propel Christine 18,192 feet, and should serve the rest of us in our daily lives to achieve our personal challenges and goals right here around sea level:

  • Harness the power of passion and curiosity
  • Maximizing courage while diminishing fear
  • Learning to LEAD from where we ARE
  • Fostering a SHARED VISION
  • Embracing the value of diversity
  • Accomplishing more with less
  • Being and living our potential
  • Thriving through change and adversity
  • Performing versus conforming
  • Integrating personal aspirations with the teams aspirations
  • Recognizing, giving and receiving support
  • Looking outside the box for creative solutions
  • Maintaining momentum and staying the course
  • Believing BETTER is POSSIBLE
  • Expanding possibilities

The team at Evergreen Trading embraces these principles, and recognizes them as critical to achieving success in business as well as in one’s personal life.

We will be following Christine and providing updates and photographs as she makes her way through this arduous 2 week journey which will begin this Sunday morning. If you wish to learn more, visit Christine’s site dedicated to her climb.