I just learned about an incredible organization in the San Francisco Bay Area known as Environmental Traveling Companions. Their charter is to provide disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities wilderness adventure opportunities, regardless of physical or financial limitations. Your first reaction might be:
Oh, how nice – an organization that pushes wheel chairs down paved nature trails.
Not so! When ETC says adventures, they mean adventures — Whitewater rafting, cross-country skiing, and sea kayaking. The vision started with three river guides in 1972, and formed into a formal non-profit organization in 1975. According to their website (http://www.etctrips.org):
ETC has offered our life-changing programs to more than 60,000 people with special needs including visual or mobility impairments, developmental disabilities, cancer and other life-threatening illness, and youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Check out this inspirational video of their organization.
I am sure there are many organizations around the world dedicated to helping people experience the great outdoors. Let us know about your favorite.