(Kathmandu, Nepal and Renton, Washington)—At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this summer, exhibitor Sherpa Adventure Gear will sell t-shirts—with imagery evocative of Nepal’s rich culture and landscapes—to benefit the education of Sherpa children in Nepal. In May, the company finalized the creation of its own 501(c)(3) charitable organization called the Paldorje Education Fund, which streamlines the company’s ability to channel its own contributions toward the benefit of Sherpa children.
At Outdoor Retailer, the company will sell its six styles of “Shangri-La” graphic t-shirts on Thursday and Friday August 2nd and 3rd from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at booth #3000. The shirts will sell for $15.00.
“Just $15 to $25 sponsors a child for a month at schools in the Khumbu region,” said company founder Tashi Sherpa. “So the sale of just one t-shirt at the show will help secure a month of education for a child.”
Approximately a dozen children currently benefit from the company’s education initiatives, which typically fund a child’s entire education through high school, and for some, through college. For years, the company has contributed a portion of every sale to education from both its wholesale operation and also from retail sales at its flagship store in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Additionally, Sherpa Adventure Gear offers its full-time employees in Nepal the opportunity to get assistance with their children’s education.Employees who have two or five years with the company can get scholarships for their children through high school or through college, respectively.The company directly employs approximately 250 people in its Kathmandu headquarters, factory, store and bed & breakfast operations.
“Our employees contribute to our company’s well being, so we in turn contribute to their children’s future for as long as they are working for us,” explained Tashi Sherpa.
With the newly established Paldorje Education Fund, Sherpa hopes to widen the reach of their program.They are currently screening the next possible candidates, up to fifteen children in the Khumbu Valley, which is the gateway to Everest.
“Education is expensive in Nepal and not attainable for most people.So the goal of the Paldorje Education Fund is to spread the benefits as widely as possible but also make sure that families are involved and have a stake in it,” Sherpa said. “So we require a rigorous application process that involves everyone. We want to give parents and their students the hope and the dream that can see them all the way through college.”
The Paldorje Education Fund is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization, # 17053327357011. Its mission statement reads: “The Paldorje Education Fund provides much-needed head start scholarships to less fortunate Sherpa children. We are supported by Sherpa Adventure Gear and the welcome kindness of friends. In Nepal, where many children grow up in remote mountain villages deprived of basic education, it is our mission to help those in the next generation find their way to a brighter future. By doing this, we honor the dreams of our elders to make a better world.”
About Sherpa Adventure Gear
Sherpa Adventure Gear was founded in 2003 by Tashi Sherpa, who was inspired to start the company when he discovered that his uncle was one of the Sherpa on Sir Edmund Hilary’s celebrated, first-ever expedition to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.Sherpa Adventure Gear—which manufacturers apparel for mountain and outdoor adventures—honours the unsung Sherpa heroes who make high altitude Himalayan climbs possible by carrying the loads, laying the ropes, and guiding the way.Sherpa athlete-ambassadors test and help design Sherpa Adventure Gear products, most of which are manufactured in Nepal. The company employs over 250 people in Nepal, and in 2009, furthered its local commitment when it opened its downtown Kathmandu headquarters, which houses its offices, a flagship store and The Terrace bed and breakfast. Two more stores opened in 2010, in Namche and Pokhara, Nepal.The company’s marketing and sales office is in Renton, Washington. Sherpa Adventure Gear gives back to the Sherpa community through its Paldorje Education Fund. A portion of every sale of Sherpa Adventure gear apparel is set aside to fund scholarships of deserving Sherpa children.