Two nonprofit organizations in the Lake Tahoe area have formed a partnership to get disadvantaged and financially strapped kids out on the ski slopes.
SheJumps, a group that encourages women to get outdoors, will now be contributing as many volunteers as possible for SkiDUCK events, which consist of providing a free day of skiing to underprivileged youth.
The announcement was made in mid-January, but SheJumps volunteers have been helping their new partner since December.
“That helps a ton…” SkiDUCK Executive Director Clint Lunde said of the help. “The energy that comes with the SheJumps volunteers is fantastic.”
When taking large groups of kids out for a free day of skiing, Lunde said having enough help is one of the hardest things to come by.
Kids need assistance with rental equipment, lunch and anything else that arises during the day, and most of them have never been to a ski resort in their life, he said.
“About 90 percent of the kids have never skied or snowboarded before, and probably never would have,” Lunde said.
Meghan Kelly, the California regional coordinator at SheJumps, played a key role in forming the partnership with SkiDUCK. She said she thought it was a good way for her organization to achieve its mission — getting women outdoors — because it focused on people at a young age.
She also thought the nonprofit was well established in the ski community. She saw the results firsthand when she volunteered for an event at Squaw Valley earlier this season.
“It was just like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “It just seemed like they had everything down, so it felt like you were giving back from day one.”
“It was really rewarding,” Kelly added.
In South Shore, SkiDUCK events are held at Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort seasonally. The first event of the year at Kirkwood is being held Sunday now that the Timber Creek ski area is open.
Currently, SkiDUCK events are only available around Lake Tahoe, Lunde said. However, the plan is to expand the organization into Utah and other portions of the country now that SheJumps, and its volunteers, are ready to help for winter events.