Since making international news by completing a free ascent of the Dawn Wall at Yosemite last year, local climber Kevin Jorgeson has been keeping busy with speaking engagements, training and climbing. But he and his fiancee Jacqui Becker leave on Sunday, March 20, for a different kind of challenge.
The couple will join humanitarian efforts in Lesvos – a Greek island in the Aegean Sea that was once a tourist destination, and is now ground zero for the Syrian refugee crisis. Jorgeson has obtained 1,000 space blankets from Adventure Medical Kits but he has been told that all will be gone by the end of their first shift of their two-week stay.
“We’ve read that an average of 2,000 refugees continue to wash up there every day, which means that during our two weeks on the island, we’ll be joined by 28,000 men, women, and children who need our help,” said Jorgeson. “We are blessed at this moment in our lives to have enough time and resources to help other human beings who really need it.”
Donations in support of their efforts can be made at gofundme.com/hoopsandrocks. “Every penny we collect will directly support the refugees,” said Jorgeson. He says that they have an “incredible” sponsor and ally in Adventure Medical Kits. AMK has not only covered the cost of their travel to the island, but they’ve shipped Jorgeson hundreds of pounds of supplies, from first aid kits to the 200 pounds of warming blankets that they will pack and bring with them. “Everything else, including food and lodging, we will pay for ourselves, out-of-pocket,” he said.
Upon their return, the couple will resume planning for their August wedding in Sebastopol and Jorgeson said he will head back to El Capitan in the fall to explore new areas there.