Authored by: Gina Barker, Development & Marketing Director at The Christmas Box International
David Tucker likes to think big, like hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail for charity big.
This month, Tucker embarks on a 2,650 mile journey from the border of Mexico, across the Sierra Mountain range, to his end-point in British Columbia, Canada. But this mental and physical feat of endurance will be more than a personal challenge. It will also serve as an opportunity to raise awareness and money for the Utah-based charity, The Christmas Box International (CBI). In those 2,650 miles, he hopes to raise $10,000 to help Utah children who are victims of abuse and neglect.
“I promise to take you to some amazing places,” Tucker writes in his blog chronicling the hike, “let you share in my ups and downs, and allow you the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped some truly needy and deserving kids. All of the money raised will go directly to CBI as I will be completely funding my trip. So that’s it. Simple, right? I mean other than hiking 20+ miles every day for six months.”
Tucker works at Backcountry.com, and the outdoor online retailer gave $2,500 to kick off his six-month-long trek. The employees at Backcountry.com are getting involved at The Salt Lake Christmas Box House, already taking several teens from Salt Lake County Youth Services for a rock climbing day in March. Recruiting peers, finding donated services, and working closely with Salt Lake County staff, Tucker orchestrated a fun day to spend time with teens staying in shelter care. Many of these kids have never rock climbed before, and Tucker and his group of outdoor enthusiasts were there to walk them through the process, building up their confidence to get them to tackle 60 or more feet of vertical walls.
Giving back seemed like a no-brainer to Tucker, and combining his love of the outdoors felt like a perfect fit to do so. From Hawaiian hilltops to the peaks of Macchu Picchu, he has been gearing up for this hike for years. In the past few months, Tucker stepped up his training regiment to include icy trails and longer, overnight hauls with his pack. Still, the reason for the hike remains a powerful motivator to get him to the finish line. Tucker admits to having a “rough childhood,” owing his successes as an adult to others.
“As a result of their love and kindness, I feel an obligation to give back to society, to improve the lives of others as much as others have improved mine.” David Tucker
Tucker departs this month, and CBI and DYS are wishing him luck and safe travels as he embarks on the journey of a lifetime. To catch up on David Tucker’s adventure, go to www.hike4cbi.com.