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    Dirtbag Grant Update - Down for the Down and Out

    One_days_haul Way back in June of last year we posted the winners of the 2007 Dirtbag Grant. Here's an update from Lucia Robinson and Rachel Babkirk, who described their idea as "part climbing road trip, part homeless aid drive."

    We wrapped up the Boulder drive today (Jan. 17). It was a huge success! Thanks to REI, The Spot, the BRC, Neptune Mountaineering, and Boulder Mountaineering, we collected:

    208 Jackets
    Hundreds of warm layers (I stopped counting after we collected 210 during the first week!)
    51 Snow pants / bibs
    116 Hats
    98 Gloves (pairs)
    109 Socks (pairs)
    31 Scarves
    59 Boots and shoes (pairs)
    49 Sleeping bags
    32 Sleeping pads
    12 Tents
    8 Backpacks

    The_rei_bins_2 Additional items included a stove, water bottles, Yak Trax, and a climbing harness (uh..?). I was amazed at the quality of gear, from a new North Face Summit Series puffy jacket to a barely used Mountain Hardware tent to new Sorrel boots. (Very few Patagonia items. That must mean your gear lasts a long time and people don't want to part with it. :) I have attached a few pictures of what my garage and the REI bins looked like on a daily basis.

    Colorado Friendship of Boulder and HOPE of Longmont have been helping us distribute the clothing and gear. I had the good fortune of volunteering with Colorado Friendship over the holidays. Each week they provide hot meals, clothing, gear, and food to Boulder's homeless and families in need. They operate out of a mobile trailer that they set up in parking lots around town. The homeless folks that I met through CO Friendship were particularly glad for the camping equipment. Many of them winter camp up Boulder Canyon and on Flagstaff Mountain.

    We are still running drives in West Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, and Arizona. We have had articles in newspapers in CO, WV, and NV, and Rachel has been on the evening news in WV. [We were also featured in] a recent article from the Beckley Register-Herald.

    Again, thank you for this amazing opportunity!
    Lucia and Rachel

    Congratulations to Lucia and Rachel for running a such a successful program. Thanks for putting your Dirtbag Grant money to such good use.

    Stay tuned for an update from our other Dirtbag Grant winner, slow-living activist Simon Clissold.

    [Photos courtesy of Lucia Robinson.]

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