2020 was a very crippling year for a number of people. Not only was the Coronavirus detrimental to the health of many, it was also very taxing on our economy. I consider myself fortunate to have maintained both my health and my job throughout the craziness of the past year. Along with being able to work full time, I was also able to turn my beading hobby into a small business.
Like so many sports, the 2020 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association schedule was heavily impacted by Covid-19. This left many competitors turning to alternate employment to supplement their income to support themselves, as well as their families. If the virus wasn’t their reason for missing rodeos, there is the always prominent possibility of sustaining injuries during competition.
Rodeo is different than most professional sports, with no guaranteed salary or health benefits. Athletes have to pay entry fees to compete, are responsible for all travel expenses, and are only paid when successful in placing in the top percent of their event. In a sport where the financial odds are already stacked against them, incurring an injury could send an athlete into an additional world of hurt financially.
The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund is an organization that provides financial based assistance to athletes injured during their participation in professional rodeo. This organization has donated over 8 million dollars in financial aid to eligible cowboys and cowgirls and distributes 100% of contributions to to these applicants. Coming from a rodeo family, I know the importance of organizations like the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund lessening the financial burden and allowing athletes to focus on recovery. My brother competed professionally in both bareback and bull riding, where he sustained career ending injuries. The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund was there for him financially helping with the abundance of medical bills, our family will forever be grateful for their generosity.
Reflecting on the past year I cannot be anything other than grateful as I know I am of the small percentage of people whose life went relatively unchanged. I feel very fortunate and because of that I have decided to give back to someone that life in 2020 may not have been to so kind to. The Rebel Sagebrush will be donating 30% of our January and February shop update sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. I am so proud to be supporting a non-profit that is committed to helping so many deserving rodeo competitors and continues to promote the western way of life.