Trek Everest with Ann Oppenheim

$5,130 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 32 people in 11 months
I did the climbing and many of you got 100% behind me and did some donating for a great cause. Successfully took on the adventure of climbing on Mt. Everest. To make the most of this incredible opportunity, I thought that fundraising for a worthy cause, to send a victim of domestic violence to an empowerment retreat, would make this adventure more meaningful--and it has. Mission accomplished and thank you!

When you have been through something traumatic, in one sense, you have been given a gift. You are uniquely qualified to help somebody else in that similar situation.  

Many of you have supported me in so many loving ways over the past few years. Your friendship, patience, agency, and love has been, frankly, humbling and overwhelming. As you know, when I summited Kilimanjaro, my motivation for the climb was to physically exhaust myself and to try to leave this pent-up anger that I was experiencing on the mountain so that I could move-on with my life. It helped, but I still had more work to do. Time helped, too. It becomes clear that something very important has been denied. When I climbed the Incan Trail on my way to Machu Picchu, metaphorically like giving myself wings, I climbed to free myself, which I did. I'm happy now. 

I have been very disappointed. It has been painful, but I know now that I can help other people who have been in my shoes. I'm motivated to pay my blessings forward. Together, we are going to directly help another human being who is going through a tough situation that I can relate to.  This time, with your help, I climbed a tall mountain for someone else. And I also brought awareness to a cause that I care deeply about. I am not wasting my pain and healing another moment. Some experiences help us grow, mature, and come up higher. 

Here’s what’s going on:

I just set my hiking boots on Mt. Everest and climbed with the specific goal to send a woman in need, a woman who has been a victim of domestic abuse to a highly sought after all-woman empowerment retreat to help her create necessary, life-changing results. I attended this retreat. And because it was so effective in shifting my paradigm, I want to directly support and help another woman get back on track with her life.
26860794_1523197711.8088_funddescriptionThe purpose of this “gofundme” project is to raise cash and awareness for a topic that I care deeply about: the damaging, longstanding effects that domestic abuse has on its victims. When I reached Everest Base Camp, I met my fundraising goal though I ascended a bit higher up the crushed glacier mouth Khumba Icefall and the Western CVM while sick with high-altitude pulmonary edema, the Khumba cough, and a fever. All funds raised after the "gofundme" mandatory expenses will be used to send a select woman to the same retreat that helped me— including tuition, room and board. So that this victim of domestic abuse has skin-in-the-game, she will agree to pay for her travel expenses. If it is in your heart, you can still also donate anonymously if you are concerned about an abusive individual seeing your support. 

I believe that helping in such a direct manner is the most efficient way to give back. If you feel moved by this project, please contribute- even if it is a token amount. Your donations cheered me on and motivated me as I tackled the world’s highest mountain. 
Here’s why-- which is always the most important question to be answered--lets shed some light on this issue:I am committed to women's safety and helping them live extraordinary lives. Adversity does not have to ruin a woman's life. We should not be complicit or silently accept that intimidation, physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse quietly hides in our communities. Bad people create their own hell on earth. I would rather focus on helping the victims. 

For those who have not experienced domestic abuse, it is difficult to understand why the survivor in an abusive relationship might stay with their abuser. Leaving an abusive relationship is much easier said than done. Statistics show that women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the first two weeks after leaving an abusive relationship than during the relationship. Simply put, women primarily stay out of fear.

Living under suboptimal conditions takes a toll on the abused psychologically. The literature clearly states that narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths crave control and power while their codependents crave security. When survivors of abuse eventually speak about their experiences, they are often asked the question, “Why didn’t you just leave, or what took you so long?” While those asking the question may be well-intended, survivors of domestic abuse often feel shame or confusion.

Surviving victims of domestic abuse are heroes. Often their reasons for staying are motivated by love, commitment, responsibility, faith, strength, lack of the financial ability to leave, selflessness, denial and blind optimism. On average, it takes a survivor 7-8 attempts to leave their abusive partner before it is successfully accomplished. Domestic violence experts say that the risk of domestic homicide is at its highest when a survivor attempts to leave an abuser because an abuser may try to escalate their power and control tactics to force a person to stay.

The only people who truly understand the complexities of any given relationship are those people in the relationship. Many survivors of abuse become stuck in cycles or patterns of emotional, financial, physical, and mental manipulation and exploitation which are difficult to escape from. Issues of low self esteem, codependency, and abandonment, to name a few, can plague victims for years if they do not seek the appropriate help.

This is why what I accomplished is so important. One person at a time, a difference can be made. We do not need to know the individual in need. We just need to offer the help.  
It is very difficult to understand unkindness and unfairness when we believe our hearts are in the right place.  I had to put my life's work, time, effort, heart,  hopes and dreams in the hands of my faith one evening when I miraculously picked myself up from a cold floor. Some moments define our spirit. It is a miracle that I am alive to type this. I was already dead on that floor before a person pushed me down and hands crushed my neck. I wasn't really living under suboptimal conditions. When G-d hears us cry and sees that we trust our faith and are willing to give up certain things, the true plan for our life begins to form.  That critic who pushed me down is the same person who in doing so, pushed me up, out and into a better life.

People, I'm awake now to tell you this: we are on this earth to make a difference--doors open, the right people are brought to us, negative becomes positive, and life becomes more full. We climb higher when we embrace our humanity, help others, and carry our mistakes, our vulnerability and humanness as a shield of valor to remind ourselves that if harm can happen to ourselves, it is our obligation to try to make it easier for others. 

Many of us have felt that at times, we are not in the place we thought we would be. The tough times can be the place where we become stronger, the holding pen where we prepare for the life we are supposed to lead. If it is in your heart, you can still support a domestic abuse victim who is in need and deserves her comeback. Please do not feel an obligation to me whatever your decision. Even if you don't donate today, let my strength be your strength if you are ever in need. I'm going forward with this project no matter what. Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy piece. 
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Time to celebrate. We are amidst the Jewish holidays with it's literal meaning "head of the year." What better time to use our "hearts" as well as our "heads" to help others.

Thank You Donors. Fantastic News!

A woman has been selected, enrolled, and is attending the next women's empowerment retreat early October. She will work with peak-performance life coaches to overcome the damage that domestic abuse has brought into her life and the life of her children.

And the news gets ever better...I have a surprise for you...I'm not stopping here. I'm looking to send more women who need that extra push to transform their lives, to overcome the harm that has been perpetrated on them.

The success of one woman is a collective success for all women. The #MeToo movement has prompted an ongoing national reckoning with regard to the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Domestic violence needs to be busted open as well. The statistics are sobering: every day, on average, three or more women are killed in the U.S. by either their husbands or boyfriends. Observing misery doesn't help anyone. What helps is action.

The candidate wishes to thank you for your support and donation. Without your help, she would not be able to attend. And I wish to thank you as well for supporting me during a tough period, for cheering me on to climb, and for being a part of this beautiful life that we all share together.

Happy New Year my friends!

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A note to my donors: Great news! A candidate has been selected to attend the upcoming retreat that will be held in October. The woman wishes to remain anonymous and meets all of the criteria that was set forth. I am not stopping with one woman. It is my intention to send more. I will keep you posted. Thank you for your generous support. Hope you are well. Ann
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I am working with "Through These Doors," the former Family Crisis Services Center in Portland, Maine as well as The Matthew Hussey Live Retreat to seek the appropriate recipient for this gofundme opportunity. The following announcement is being distributed:

An Exciting Opportunity is Waiting for a Woman Who is a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Leaving an abusive relationship is much easier said than done. Living under abusive conditions takes a toll on the abused psychologically. Survivors of domestic abuse often feel shame or confusion, and many also become stuck in cycles or patterns of emotional, financial, physical, and mental manipulation and exploitation which are difficult to escape from. Issues of low self esteem, codependency, and abandonment, to name a few, can plague victims for years if they do not seek the appropriate help.

Help may be on the way for you…you are not alone

I understand what you have been through personally. I attended the Matthew Hussey Live Retreat which helped me tremendously with these issues—so much so that when I climbed onto Mt. Everest last month, thirty-two of my generous friends—good and loving people— donated funds to help YOU get you life back on track. The thought of helping YOU kept me climbing. My entire trekking group spoke with me about this project, about the issues of domestic abuse, and they and the thirty-two donors all got behind me to motivate me to Mt. Everest Base Camp, my fund-raising goal.

Selection Criteria:
1. A female victim of domestic abuse who is now living safely and away from her abuser.
2. The woman must have no contact with her former abuser and is committed to continuing to maintaining such boundaries.
3. The woman has children living with her in her home who will benefit from her work at the retreat.
4. The woman is committed to and wants to change aspects of her life, and will work hard to accomplish this: to feel better about herself, to understand and evaluate her past patterns that may have contributed to the abusive situation so that the patterns can be broken. Change can and will happen if you believe it in your heart.
5. The woman will benefit from setting life goals, shoring-up her confidence, believes that her future and the lives of her children can be much brighter, and is willing to work hard towards this goal.
6. The woman has the ability to travel to Florida for a week to attend this seminar.

A Weeklong Retreat:
The Matthew Hussey Live Retreat is a weeklong, all woman, in-depth training and empowerment seminar held twice a year that includes intensive study and activities to help you accomplish necessary life changes and to feel better about yourself. If you are truly serious about transforming your life, Matthew Hussey and his team can take you through a powerful process that will quickly transform your WHOLE life in ways you never dreamed possible. This process will give you the essential tools that you need, including:

1. A blueprint for your ideal life. 
2. Core confidence to take action and to create your ideal life.
3. Awareness and mindset: understanding where the gaps are in your life.
4. Eliminate what’s been holding you back, and design the life you always wanted.
5. Formulate your tailored plan, and learn the keys to sticking to it long term.
6. Make life-long friends, many of whom understand your circumstances.

Matthew Hussey is one of the most highly sought after peak-performance coaches in the world acclaimed for his ability to inspire, instill confidence, and create dramatic, life-changing results with clients. For the past 9 years Matthew Hussey has coached millions of women around the world. This is a completely immersive experience, tailored to dramatically increase your success, whilst restoring true balance in every aspect of your life. If you know there’s another level for you, and you want the tools to get there, you may be eligible to be part of this life changing experience.

Costs, Expenses, and Admission to this Program:
1. Tuition, hotel accommodations, and a food stipend are free of charge.
2. The recipient will pay her travel expenses to get to Florida.
3. The selected recipient will need to apply to and be accepted by the The Matthew Hussey Live Retreat to receive this opportunity.

You have already done the hardest work: you have survived an abusive relationship and are now safe. Let’s work together to help you make the most of your and your children’s lives.

Please contact me if you meet the criteria and are ready to take the next step.

Thank you for your time.

Ann Oppenheim

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Accomplished my goal arriving at Everest Base Camp a few days ago before enjoying the breathtaking Himilayan mountain range and scenery and ascending just a bit up the Khumba glacier at the mouth of Mt. Everest. This climb was my most challenging physically to date and I am in awe of the strength, endurance, and daring required for only a select few to reach the summit. My prior climbs are a shadow of the risk and enormity of this challenge. Thank you for supporting my efforts to bring further awareness to the sad issues of domestic violence and for being my friend. I no longer need to climb to feel strong. I am strong. I am powerful. Everything that I need in life is wrapped in my pint-sized body and will of steel. I wish you peace.
The climbing crew in the mouth of Mt Everest's opening
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$5,130 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 32 people in 11 months
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