Last September, the world lost a selfless humanitarian, humble servant and courageous leader. Paul Cripps, Extreme Response Canada co-founder with his wife, Linda, had dedicated his life to helping others. While his passing has left a hole in Extreme Response International, his legacy is alive.
Paul’s passion for helping people who live in dire need brought him to Africa, Asia and the Americas. He was tireless in not only visiting the poor in settlements, barrios and squatter communities around the world, but also in sharing their needs with anyone who would listen. He was a frequent speaker throughout Canada and the U.S., encouraging people to get involved in helping to change the lives of the poor.
Paul and Linda led or participated in volunteer teams in Ecuador, the Philippines, South Africa, Brazil and other developing countries. Their compassion has been contagious. Countless people continue to become short-term volunteers and serve others as a result of their example.
Perhaps one of Paul’s strongest qualities was displaying courage while fighting cancer, a reoccurring enemy that finally ended his life on earth. Even while battling cancer for many years, Paul remained focused on meeting the needs of people living in extreme poverty and helping our partners who serve them.
Today, Linda is carrying on their shared passion. She serves as president of ER Canada and continues to raise funds, support partners and assist those who seek to go to foreign countries to serve. Linda shared these thoughts after viewing the award ceremony via Skype:
“After watching the award ceremony, I wiped a tear away and thanked God for a great group of men who wanted to honor Paul’s memory,” she said. “Courage is a wonderful word; it’s both adjective and verb. It can describe a characteristic of a person, but shows the action in someone’s life.
“The courage Paul demonstrated in the last 16 years of his life, especially the last four or five years, exemplifies his true dedication. He was willing to give his life for his passion of helping to change the lives of others through ER and all our partners.
“Many of our partners can echo with me the times Paul would be walking beside in their world them with yet another personal medical issue that needed attention while away from the comforts of his doctor. He left his fate in the hands of his Heavenly Father.
Because of his humbleness, Paul would say, ‘oh friends, this award is not necessary’. But as his wife, I truly thank each of you for this lasting memorial, a tribute that his brothers in arms will share and a legacy that can be remembered every year going forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Rich Brown Receives First Paul Cripps Courage Award
Extreme Response sought to recognize Paul in a way that would pay tribute to his strong faith, generosity and leadership. Paul was a cornerstone of ER’s Leadership Community, having coached and encouraged developing leaders worldwide.
Russ Cline, ER Chief Development Officer who heads up our Leadership Community, was inspired to create the Paul Cripps Courage Award.
The very first Paul Cripps Courage Award was presented at the 2016 Leader Mundial Summit to Rich Brown, founder and president of Inca Link. In presenting the award, Russ highlighted Rich’s huge vision, fearlessness and willingness to help at-risk youth throughout from locations in Ecuador and Peru.
Rich is married to Lisa and has four children, Olivia, 22, Michaela, 20, Josiah, 18, and Alexa, 15. His vision is to help 300 million at-risk youth in Latin America through leadership training, networking and compassion programming. His strategies include using short-term volunteer teams, interns and donated resources to engage youth throughout the Latin world.