Sea Point resident Andrew Patterson (39) recently completed his goal of climbing Table Mountain every day of 2018 to raise funds for three non-profit organisations: Habitat for Humanity, One Heart for Kids and The Sunflower Fund.
Hoping to inspire his fellow South Africans to strive to make a difference, Patterson tirelessly took to the trails 365 days in a row through wind, rain, cold and scorching sun with his cause in mind and his determination never faltering.
One New Year’s Eve, he took his final step in the yearlong journey totalling 964 hours and 2 429 km, including 262 km of vertical climbing, equal to 71 Mount Everest climbs.
“It is hard to put into a few words what this year has meant to me, this entire experience was even greater than I ever imagined. I’ve developed a greater understanding of listening to my own inner voice, intuition and gut,” says Andrew.
Throughout the year, Andrew was accompanied by 738 different climbers from around South Africa and abroad who took to the mountains with him in support of his cause.
“The people I got to meet, the conversations that we have had on the mountain, the enthusiasm for people to get behind this to make a real difference in this country has been mind blowing. It goes to show that you can never fully grasp the full power of an idea until you act on it and start to see it blooming,” Andrew says.
In total, over R359 583.64 was raised, with the 365 Ubuntu Climbs initiative launched on donations-based crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy, with contributions from 452 donors.
Funds raised have already helped deliver books to three of the Western Cape’s poorest schools in Stellenbosch, Klapmuts and Kayamandi in connection with One Heart for Kids.
With Habitat for Humanity, ten families living in shacks in Baphumelele, Khayelitsha, have had their homes upgraded to be drier, safer and warmer. Andrew was also involved in two donor drives for the Sunflower Fund which added 30 donors to the Sunflower Registry.
Patterson’s message is one of finding a way to give back in your own way, no matter how big or small.
“Whatever your challenge – just get started. Table mountain from afar seemed insurmountable, but seeing the next few stairs ahead of you makes you think ‘why didn’t I start sooner’. Focus on today and what you can do right now to make South Africa better,” says Andrew.
Patterson’s story is a simple yet powerful one, proving that you can make a difference by if you put your mind to it, taking it one step at a time to tackle that mountain ahead of you. In the end, it wasn’t about the view from the top, but rather the cause for the climb and beauty Andrew found along the way.
Andrew’s campaign is still accepting donations.
You can make a donation to his cause on BackaBuddy here.