We are climbers and travelers who recognize the influence that new summits and lands have on our lives. We believe that as we grow and prosper from those experiences, we have the responsibility to return the same opportunities to those people and places that have enriched our lives. Our mission is small and focused. We strive to make a difference in individual lives through opportunities in education.
To Return is dedicated to enhancing education and support for porters and guides of the Mt. Kilimanjaro region by creating opportunities for continued connection between visitors and locals.
To Return started in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania in 2007 with the gift of a warm coat and a promise to help one porter to go to school to become a guide. After founder and director Lindsay Reither Halsey reached the summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, what stood out most from the climb was not the amazing view or the great personal accomplishment, but rather, the conditions in which the porters climbed the very same mountain. While the tourists climbed in warm down jackets and sturdy shoes, the porters climbed in ragged clothing and unsuitable footwear. The inequity was alarming. Returning from her travels, Lindsay shared her experiences with other climbers and shortly thereafter donated a collection of used jackets, boots and mountain gear to Kilimanjaro porters.
Returning to Kilimanjaro in 2008 to distribute the mountain equipment, Lindsay began simply asking porters what was the single most important thing to them. The answer was the same for nearly all – a better life for their children. They agreed that the best chance at achieving their goals was through quality education for their children. Thus, To Return launched its scholarship program, connecting climbers and tourists with the children of porters and granting these children scholarships to attend local, quality schools.
The success of To Return’s focus on educational opportunities led us to begin providing educational opportunities for both children and adults. Supported by To Return, the first AAIRE Wilderness First Responder course was held in Moshi in 2012, providing an advanced wilderness and remote medical training for dozens of local Kilimanjaro guides.
Lindsay Reither Halsey is founder and director of To Return. While working as a mountain guide for seven years, Lindsay had the opportunity to climb and guide some of the worlds most sought after peaks including Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson, Mt. McKinley and Mt. Kilimanjaro. She has a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and currently resides in Aspen, Colorado. Lindsay serves To Return by coordinating our children and adult scholarship program. She frequently visits the schools, families and students in Tanzania who receive scholarships.
Linden Mallory is the assistant director of To Return. He was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado and began working as a mountain guide on Mt. Rainier in 2004 for RMI Expeditions. He has traveled extensively throughout the developing world as a guide and climber, from Kilimanjaro to Alaska to the Himalaya. Linden is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a BA in Geography and serves To Return by promoting our goals in the guiding community and by keeping tabs on our efforts with frequent travel to the Mt. Kilimanjaro community.
Chris Halsey is the secretary and treasurer of To Return. Chris grew up in Boston and graduated from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado with a BA in Business Administration. He is the assistant ski patrol director for the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol and a Snowmass Summer Ranger. When not working, you’ll find Chris exploring the world as he is passionate about travel and adventure. He has traveled extensively in Tanzania and climbed Kilimanjaro. Chris leads our gear donation efforts through his relationships in the outdoor industry and most recently collected over 500 lbs of mountain gear for our 2012 gear donation drive from the Aspen Skiing Company.
Joel Siao is a mountain and safari guide in Moshi, Tanzania and is the director of operations for To Return. Joel manages the day to day activities of the scholarship and gear donation programs. He coordinates with families and the schools to make sure all needs are met including transportation, uniforms, books, tuition, and more. Joel frequently goes the extra mile in getting to know our students and their families as part of To Return’s close oversight of our scholarship program. He also organizes the annual To Return gear donation in Moshi. When not guiding and working with To Return, you’ll find Joel spending time with his family.
To Return is grateful to all of our partners who support us through in-kind services, fundraising, advertising and more.
Reese Henry & Co. – Certified public accountants located in Aspen and Carbondale, Colorado. Instrumental in helping To Return gain 501 C 3 status with the IRS.
Garfield & Hecht – Law firm in Aspen, Colorado whose services were instrumental in the formation of To Return.
webShine – Internet marketing company in Basalt, Colorado who manages our Google Grant campaign.
Delta Airlines – Supporting To Return’s gear donation program through waived baggage fees.
Terry Rogers and AspenSnowmassDreamHomes.com – Aspen/Snowmass Realtor who supports To Return through her charity program.