Support: (Verb) To give assistance to, enable to function or act.
Support is vital to survival, without it no business or individual will last long. It impacts all aspects of what we do, and comes in too many forms and manners to fully explain. From the financial support we receive from granting agencies to the support provided by our volunteer mentors to our participants it is in everything we do as an organization. As we celebrate 10 years as an organization there is no way we can thank everyone that has provided Elevation Outdoors with support over the years.
The biggest thing we can do in our community is take the support we receive and give back to the young people we work with, and support their families to help create opportunities that may not otherwise exist. It is through this thought process that we have been able to create our Youth Sponsorship program in an effort to create some possibility for a few deserving young people each year. As part of our Learn to Shred program our Youth Sponsorship is a result of the support we receive from our sponsors. Our volunteer crew has the privilege of selecting one participant from each program based on their overall attitude, willingness to learn, attendance, and passion for the sport to receive the sponsorship. As one of our goals is to break down barriers to participation for young people, the youth selected receives all the equipment they would need to continue snowboarding for years to come after completing our program.
In 2018 one of our long-time sponsors for the Learn to Shred program, Rip Curl, stepped up and asked how they could get more involved with this opportunity as they saw the impact it can create in a young person’s life. In an effort to help keep this sponsorship viable they provided us with an amazing package of outerwear, base layers, socks, toques and facemasks to outfit a winner to go along with a snowboard, boots, pack and helmet that we have from our other sponsors and supporters. To see the look on a young person’s face, and see the pride in their parents’ eyes, when they are told they are the recipient of this award is something all of our team involved will never forget. Without passion life is a dull version of what it could be. Having the ability to support the passion of a few young people each year in this manner rings true to our mission and our values as an organization. This is just one small example of the many ways the support provided to our organization can create a lasting impact on our community and in the lives of the participants in our programs.
We want to say a big THANK YOU to every person, organization, granting agency, funder, board member, and volunteer that has lent us support over our first 10 years. As we look towards the future we are excited about the direction we are headed, and in our ability to support countless more young people in their journey of self-discovery as they try new activities, develop new friendships, and hopefully find a lifelong passion that will support them through the good times and the bad that life inevitably brings to all of us. Without each and every one of you we would not be where we are today; with a strong foundation as an organization dreaming of what the next 10 years will bring.
Over the years I have been involved with Elevation Outdoors this question has come up many times. As time passes we get asked this question less frequently, but it still comes up here and there.
The answer is always easy, passion. A passion for sport, a passion for helping others, a passion for youth, a passion for giving back to our community, and most of all wanting to share our passion with others in the hope it can make an impact on their lives like it has on ours. Every person that is involved with Elevation Outdoors does so because of a passion that lives within them. One of the first questions we ask any new volunteer that is interested in joining our team is why do they want to be involved with Elevation Outdoors. The number one answer we hear back from people is that they want to help introduce an activity they care about and that has helped shape them into the person they are today with the next generation of young people.
Our goal is to help young people in our community try new things and inspire them to find an activity that they can get excited about, that will give them the motivation to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning, not because they have to, but because they want to! We all have those friends that seem to be a bit crazy, the ones that are up before dawn to drive a couple hours in order to go play outside all day long, get home long after dark only to do it over again the next day. While many of us think they are crazy, we are willing to bet if you sit down to talk to them about those days their eyes will light up, the excitement in their voice will be apparent and their passion will be contagious.
That is what we want to show the young people that participate in our programs. That life is far more fulfilling when you have a passion. In life, there will be good times and there will be hard times. The good are made better and the hard can be a bit easier if through it all you have a burning passion that cannot be taken away. Having a bad day? Go for a mountain bike ride and all of a sudden things aren’t so bad. Just got some great news? Let’s go snowboarding this weekend to celebrate! For us here at Elevation Outdoors it is for activities like snowboarding, sailing, rock climbing and mountain biking. For others, it can be drawing, acting, running or travelling. What is truly important is that each young person is provided with an opportunity to experience new things and allowed to find that one thing, or three things, that will instil them with a passion that makes life worth living. Finding that passion can give a person motivation to succeed in other area’s of life because it will allow them to spend more time doing what they love. It can give a person a sense of purpose and drive that will last a lifetime.
So why do we do what we do? It’s in our blood, it’s in our hearts, it’s what gets us out of bed every day, if we did not share our passion with others we would not be staying true to ourselves.
We hope that everyone can find that thing in their lives that keeps them going and helps them lead an inspired, healthy life.
Want to share your passion with us? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.