U.S. mountaineer Melissa Arnot has summited Mount Everest five times in her life. She was attempting to become the first female to ever summit Everest with no oxygen support when nature took a turn for the worst and struck Nepal with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, April 25, 2015, triggering a devastating avalanche which claimed the lives of 19 people.
Arnot is no stranger when it comes to supporting the workers and families of Nepal. In 2012, she incorporated The Juniper Fund with her partner, David Morton, in order to provide expedition workers and their families affected by “mountain based adventure tourism” with support and aid. She explained that too often, guides were lost to avalanches and they would be the entire family’s sole income earner. With The Juniper Fund, the Nepalese families of these deceased guides would be provided with a living wage that covers needs such as food, educating their children and rebuilding their homes.
“I want to thank you so much for your thoughts and continued support in this devastating time,” Arnot said after seeing donations and support quickly coming in for earthquake victims. “I remain thankful that my team was safe and able to help in the aftermath of this tragedy.”
The Fund has already committed to providing the affected families with financial support over the next five years. The Juniper Fund is currently supporting 21 families in need and as the need increases due to this recent tragedy, it will become more difficult to promise support. $200,000 must be raised in order for the Fund to realistically support each family affected by the tragedy on Mount Everest.
Zamst, a worldwide leader in high-performance sports prevention and protective equipment and a sponsor of Arnot, is teaming up with Arnot through auctioned gear and upcoming events to support Nepalese victims and help The Juniper Fund meet their goal. “I am lucky enough to have the most supportive and generous sponsors which feel more like a family. Now is the time that I need your help. I know we can do it,” says Arnot.
All donations to The Juniper Fund will go directly to the Nepalese families who need support. Some communities are taking action by organizing auctions, sponsored speaking events and fundraising dinners, but even the small act of posting on social media can help The Juniper Fund raise awareness of its important mission. Organizations and individuals can donate by going to http://www.thejuniperfund.org/donate/
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About the Juniper Fund:
The Juniper Fund was started in 2012 by David Morton and Melissa Arnot in order to address an unmet obligation they witnessed through their work as guides in the world's great mountains. The mountain climbing and expedition industry employs countless local staff and laborers in order to help support the adventures many travelers seek. The reality is that some of these workers are injured or killed in the course of this work. The Juniper Fund was born out of formalizing a commitment to understand and improve the aftermath of tragedies in the Himalayan expedition industry, or “mountain based adventure tourism.”
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