General

What is a Shatterproof Challenge event?

Shatterproof partners with the Canadian-based company, Over the Edge, to produce Shatterproof Challenge events throughout the United States.  Participants are invited to fundraise in exchange for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of rappelling from the side of a tall, local building. The Over the Edge crew handles the technical aspects of the event and Shatterproof recruits rappellers to participate in the event and raise money on their behalf. For more information about Over the Edge USA, please visit www.overtheedgeusa.com.

How does it work?

To participate in the Shatterproof Challenge, participants must raise a minimum of $1,000.  This is easier than you think and Shatterproof provides help and support with proven fundraising ideas and tips.

How do I sign up to participate?

There are three steps involved in confirming your participation in the Shatterproof Challenge:
1. Complete the registration form for your city and submit your $25 registration fee. Find your city’s registration page by clicking on the appropriate button on this page, then look for the “Click Here to Register to Rappel” link.

2. Set up your personalized fundraising page. After you submit your registration fee, you will be redirected to our personalized fundraising pages (or PFP) system and invited to set up an account. Follow the instructions that appear on that website (they will also be emailed to you). You can use our pre-written language or customize it, even upload a picture, so that your friends, family and colleagues will be able to donate online toward your rappel. We recommend setting up your PFP right away to maximize your fundraising time.

3. Raise at least $1000 to help stop addiction. To confirm your rappel spot, you need to have raised at least $1,000 by the time you check in on rappel day. We're here to support you through this process with tips and easy tools to help you reach out to your network.

Is there a minimum age limit to rappel?

Generally, participants of all ages are welcome, but minors may only participate if a parent/guardian signs a waiver on the day of the event. On rare occassions, the building we are using may prohibit minors because of their internal insurance requirements. Please write us at ShatterproofChallenge@shatterproof.org to inquire about specific events. 

Are there weight restrictions to rappel?

Yes, participants must be between 110 -300 pounds to safely fit into the harness equipment.

How long does the event take?

You will be registering for the rappel an approximately one hour before your scheduled time to rappel. After checking in, you will be suited up, and participate in some instructive training. The rappel itself will take between 10 and 15 minutes to get to the bottom. At most, during peak times of day, the process shouldn’t take more than two hours to complete. The full process includes:

  • Registration and check-in: 10-20 minutes
  • Staging and gear fitting: 15-25 minutes
  • Safety training (a.k.a. "Ground School"): 10-20 minutes
  • Queue: varies
  • Rappel: 10-15 minutes
  • Return to staging to remove gear: 10 minutes

Can I select the exact time of my rappel?
About one week before the event, you will be given a two-hour time slot for your rappel.  If it is critical for you to know the time slot well in advance, please contact ShatterproofChallenge@shatterproof.org and we will work to accommodate your schedule.

Is rappelling experience necessary to participant in a Shatterproof Challenge event?
No. The Over the Edge professionals will guide you through every step of your Shatterproof Challenge experience.

Are there Shatterproof Challenge events in other states?
Yes, there are other events in other states — check back frequently to see the schedule as other cities and dates are confirmed. Click here to see the list of confirmed events. 

Event Day Information

I have never rappelled before, how will I know what to do?

No prior experience is required to take part in this event. When you arrive on site you will have the opportunity to practice rappelling from a lesser height, and be given instruction on how to use the equipment. This will give you a chance to hang in the harness, find a comfortable position, and practice using the descender.  The same safety procedures are used in the training as in the long rappel so you will be familiar with them when you get there.

What kind of gear will I need?

You will be wearing a full-body industrial harness and using an industrial descender to go down, as well as a pair of leather gloves and a helmet. Squeezing a handle makes you go down, letting go (or pulling back) makes you stop. You can control your speed to a certain extent. Should you go too fast, the back-up device will engage. Getting your weight off the roof and into the harness is the difficult part for most people.  Once you’re over the edge, you are on your own.  Don’t forget to stop and take in the view!  

What can I wear?

You’re going to be walking down the side of the building so wear good shoes. No sandals, slip-on shoes, slippers, flip flops, high heels or steel-toed boots are permitted. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. The harness goes around your legs, waist and shoulders, so it is best to avoid anything too bulky. Long hair must be tied back. You will be given a pair of gloves and a helmet to wear while you rappel.

Can I bring my phone or camera with me?

We constantly worry about things being dropped over the side. Sorry, you will have to check in droppable items like keys and cell phones, or jewelry that can get caught on things, with a staff member on-site. If you want to wear glasses you will need to use Croakies or some other eyewear retainer to keep them from falling. Any recording device or camera (such as a Go Pro camera) must be securely fastened to you to the satisfaction of the rappel staff. That said, we hope you do share your experience on social media outlets. Use the hashtag #ShatterproofChallenge and tag us!

Can my friends and family take pictures of me from the roof?

Unfortunately friends of the participants will not be allowed up to the roof top.  The roof is a restricted access area.  Shatterproof will have an event photographer taking pictures from the roof, ensuring that each participant gets a picture of himself or herself going over the side.

But your friends and family can watch you rappel from the safety of our Landing Pad Party. They can take photos from the ground. Again, we encourage you to share your experience on social media with the hashtag #ShatterproofChallenge

What can I do to get ready?

The most common complaint from participants after rappelling is that their forearm got sore during the descent.  The squeezing motion required isn’t hard, but over a long time it can get tiring.  Proper technique and switching arms makes a lot of difference, but using a squeeze ball once in a while doesn’t hurt either. Get psyched. Tell your friends. You’re one of a few special people who will be doing the rappel!

Fundraising

What does the money raised for the Shatterproof Challenge benefit?

The Shatterproof Challenge events benefit Shatterproof. Shatterproof is building a national movement to decisively tackle the disease of addiction to alcohol and other drugs and bridge the enormous gap in addiction resources. This bold, new organization will focus its efforts around four strategic pillars: unite and empower all Americans to fight this disease; educate the public about the disease to end the stigma; advocate for change in public policy to bring down barriers to effective prevention, treatment, and recovery; and fund research to identify and put into practice evidence-based programs and strategies.

Less than 25% of funds raised are used to cover overhead percentage of fundraising events like galas and dinners. The majority of the funds will be used to save lives. 

In some cases, we have partnered with local organizations in the host city and a portion of the funds raised will be donated back to a local recovery or addiction prevention program.

I don’t have any experience fundraising; how do I do it?

Thanks to our online fundraising portal, you can easily share your Shatterproof Challenge experience with friends and family! When you register to participate in the Shatterproof Challenge you will be prompted to create your own personal fundraising webpage. You can add a photo and change the text on the page to help encourage your friends and family to support your efforts to benefit Shatterproof! 

How do I raise enough money to do the Shatterproof Challenge?

You can encourage online credit card donations by sending your friends and family a link to your personal fundraising page. Our Fundraising Resources page gives you all of the email templates, tools and support necessary to achieve your fundraising goal. Before you know it, your friends, family and contacts will have helped you reach your fundraising goal and you’ll be rappelling down the side of a building!

Is the $25 registration fee counted toward my fundraising goal?

No. Your registration fee does not count toward your fundraising goal nor is it redundable under any circustance, but it is it tax-deductible. 

What if someone wants to write a check or donate cash?

Friends and family are welcome to send checks to the Shatterproof office (101 Merritt 7, First floor, Norwalk, CT  06851).  Please make sure to tell them to be clear that the gift is in support of your fundraising efforts to that we can properly credit the gift. Cash can be turned in at check-in on rappel day.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes, online contributions are tax-deductible. Your donors will receive an automatically generated receipt for their gifts. This receipt can be used as support for a tax deduction.

What happens if I do not raise at least $1,000?

You will need to have at least $1,000 in your fundraising account in order to participate in the event.

If I can’t participate in the event, what happens to the donations that I have raised?

All donations submitted to Shatterproof are non-transferable and non-refundable. If you are unable to participate in the event, your donations cannot be refunded nor can they be transferred to another participant. Your donations will go directly to the cause as if you had participated, and we hope your donors will appreciate supporting Shatterproof regardless of your participation in the actual event.

Safety

Is this really safe?

Yes, absolutely! Over the Edge sets up the roof as an industrial work site which meets and exceeds the highest safety standards. They adhere strictly to all National and State OSHA laws, and the SPRAT / IRATA governing procedures. The ropes used are weighted for 4,500 lbs., and you will have two of them supporting you. Their certified technical experts often train fire fighters, police SWAT teams, window washers, and recreational climbers among others. Safety is the top priority, and Over the Edge takes pride in having zero incidents in all the events they have done.

Who will be setting up the rappel gear and what qualifications do they have?

All members of the Over the Edge technical team are SPRAT and/or IRATA certified industrial rope access technicians. We also rely on the help of volunteers from local fire departments, SWAT teams and AMGA Guides to assist with the ropes. All have extensive training in areas like rope rescue and/or are instructors in rope rescue or climbing.

How old are the ropes? When are they inspected and by whom?

The Over the Edge technical team regularly orders new ropes. They are inspected by our qualified technical staff at the start and end of each event. During the event, safety checks are performed for each person before they rappel, and every 2 1/2 hours the team re-inspects all the rigging.

Do I get to practice before the big rappel?

Yes! Before you rappel you will participate in "ground school," where you will have all the time you need to familiarize yourself with the equipment from the safety of only a few feet off the ground. This practice session will help you get used to the harness, rappel device, and technique for descending the building!