Mount Kilamanjaro
Feb 17 2014

Unbound sponsor takes on Mount Kilimanjaro for charity

Sponsor Diane Palmer's reaches the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro on January 22, 2011.

Sponsor Diane Palmer’s reaches the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro on January 22, 2011.

What do climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and sponsoring through Unbound have in common? Read more to find out!

In 2011 Diane Palmer, Unbound sponsor and ambassador, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Kilimanjaro is one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world at 19,341 feet above sea level. It is in Tanzania, where Unbound has more than 2,100 children and elderly sponsored and more than 200 on our waiting list for sponsorship.

“The hardest part of the climb was our last ascent day,” Diane said. “It was so cold they put hot water in our bottles so they wouldn’t freeze. We made the final push from our campsite at about 15,000 feet. I was elated when I finished and thanked God for allowing me to make the climb.”

Diane’s climb to the top of the mountain, however, took her one step further.

Before embarking on her climb, Diane decided to make the journey more meaningful. She made a list of five nonprofits, including Unbound, and asked for donations from friends, family and neighbors for her charity climb. Diane funded 100 percent of the trip herself, and asked for donations to go to the five charities closest to her heart.

Diane sponsors five individuals and has been an Unbound sponsor since 2006.

(Editor’s note: It’s easy to sponsor, click here to make a difference!)

Giving back is important to her. It was something her parents taught her when she was growing up.

“My parents would always give their time and talent to help out someone who was less fortunate in our community,” she said. “They role modeled for myself and my siblings what charity meant.”

Diane sent emails and letters, held small gatherings in her home, and interviewed at local television and radio stations to ask for donations for her charity climb.

“We were able to raise $13,000 for five charities, including Unbound,” Diane said. “Another $2,000 was raised after the climb to send clothing and educational materials to Tanzania through other charities.”

Diane combines her love of the outdoors with her love of giving back to others. This wasn’t her first charity event and it won’t be her last. In 2007, Diane raised $6,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by biking 100 miles in one day.

Most recently, in April 2013, she participated in back-to-back Unbound awareness trips to Guatemala and Honduras.

Diane, right, with her sponsored friend, Gilmer, his mother and Unbound staff members.

Diane, right, with her sponsored friend, Gilmer, his mother and Unbound staff members.

After returning from the trips, Diane was committed to helping Unbound find sponsors for children and elderly in need. She requested sponsorship folders for 25 individuals, and was able to find 18 sponsors through various fundraising events.

“Through Unbound sponsorship, I see the path of education as the keystone to breaking the poverty cycle in a family,” Diane said.

As a strong, confident woman, Diane sets goals for herself, so she can visualize her dreams and achieve them. Setting goals can come in handy when scaling a mountain or asking someone to become a sponsor.

“I believe the most important thing is to have a goal,” she said. “Once you have your goal then you can begin to put together an action plan on how to reach it. Don’t be afraid of the no; every no gets you closer to a yes.”

Read more about Diane’s adventures at

By Veronica Batton, Unbound writer/editor

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