Cape Town hiker and resident, Andrew Patterson, has finally completed his 365th hike of Table Mountain. Patterson committed to climb Table Mountain every day since January 1st 2018, not missing one day. The method in his madness (as some would say) was all in aid of raising funds for 3 non-profit organizations; Habitat for Humanity, One Heart for Kids and The Sunflower Fund.
On New Year’s Eve, Andrew took his last step in a year long journey that totaled 2429km of which 262km consisted of vertical climbing (equivalent to 71 Mt Everest’s) that took over 964 hours to complete.
“I committed to this knowing full well all the limitations and challenges that it would bring. My greatest lesson has been understanding my challenge, although tough, is nothing compared to living in poverty or feeling forgotten by society. By focusing on what we can do, we successfully change people’s lives”
Despite the rain, wind, heat and sometimes icy conditions, Patterson continued his journey, fully committed to the cause. Not only did Patterson raise a total of R 359 583.64 (452 donors) but also made friends along the way. A total of 738 climbers, local and international, provided encouragement and support on various climbs.
“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” – says Patterson.
By setting up a BackABuddy campaign, supporters were able to donate towards the cause. All contributions raised have been distributed and used to better the lives of many living in South Africa. Already, the funds from the climb have helped deliver books to three of the Western Cape’s poorest schools situated in Stellenbosch, Klapmuts and Kayamandi through One Heart for Kids. In addition to this, ten families who were previously living in shacks in Khayelitsha now have homes that are dry, safe and warm. The generosity never stopped there, with Patterson also being involved in two donor drives for The Sunflowers Fund, which resulted in 30 new donors being added to the Sunflower Registry.
“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 Patterson.
Whilst this year long journey may have come to an end, Patterson still wants to encourage fellow South Africans to find a way to give back – even it be in the smallest way.
“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”.
If you would like to donate to the campaign (the campaign is still accepting donations) visit Andrew’s cause on BackaBuddy: