I wanted to take a moment to spotlight one of our own Cotopaxi affiliates, Chris Brinlee Jr. Chris is a photographer, world traveler, adventurer, and storyteller (among many other things, I’m sure). I’ve only “known” Chris for a couple of months (all via affiliate marketing-related emails), but I truly believe his story and mission are worth sharing. Two months ago, during our first email interaction, Chris mentioned he was traveling in Vietnam with the Cotopaxi Volta pack, and he was planning to post some pictures with a review of the Volta on his website and social media. His next email (one day later) read, “Scratch that, today my bungee cords snapped; I lost the Volta along with everything in it :-\”.
By “everything”, Chris was referring to ALL of his professional photography equipment. He had bungeed the Volta to the back of his bike, and the pack flew off and disappeared due to “some bad straps, a bumpy road, and not enough diligence”. While I was reading this my stomach knotted up – what on earth was he going to do?!” And then I read the next sentence…
“On the bright side, a Vietnamese kid will have everything he needs to jumpstart a new career as a photographer!”
I like to think that people with this glass-half-full way of looking at the world are bound to have good things happen to them. About six weeks have now gone by. Chris is back in the US, and on Monday he received an email reading, “Will you come back to Vietnam?” There were pictures attached of all of his photography gear, along with the family who had found it! In Chris’s own words…
“When you open yourself up to the world, the world will open itself up to you.”
As a brand committed to doing good in the world, Chris and Cotopaxi are an obvious match. And as you probably know, there are many places in the world that could use a little (or a lot of) “good” right now. High up on that list would have to be Nepal – facing not one, but now two deadly earthquakes, followed by a slew of related aftershocks, landslides, and avalanches. Not surprisingly, Nepal is a place dear to Chris Brinlee Jr. as well. He recently shared the heartbreaking news of Langtang Village – a place where he once traveled, made friends, and took photographs – completely wiped out by landslides and avalanches during the aftermath of the main earthquake. All 200 people who lived there are presumed dead.
To help, Chris is currently donating 100% of proceeds from his Nepal print gallery to Mercy Corps. In a short time, Chris has already donated over $5,000 to this boots-on-the-ground organization, which is providing shelter, clean water, and hygiene in Nepal as we speak. Please check out his gallery here, buy a print if you see something you love, and share with your followers if you feel compelled. I also wanted to let you know that Cotopaxi has teamed up with the International Rescue Committee to collect donations that will go directly to relief efforts in Nepal. Please click here if you’d like to help in this way, and/or share with your community.