Woman overcomes fear of heights by helping people experiencing homelessness

Jul 27, 2021

Madalyn Fields, 67, is deathly afraid of heights. Her anxiety is so severe that she can barely look at a steep cliff or a Ferris wheel. 

“I also hate driving down mountains or over bridges,” Madalyn admitted. “I’m out of my mind with fear.”

Remarkably, Madalyn wants to overcome her fear of heights by rappelling down a 14-story building.

Even more remarkable: Her motivation for conquering her fear is to help people experiencing homelessness. 

Madalyn is one of hundreds of people who will rappel at Mall of America on Sept. 18 as part Down for the Challenge, a Salvation Army fundraising event that supports our housing and homelessness-prevention programs in the Twin Cities.  

“I’m excited for the cause – it’s my passion,” Madalyn said. 

Fighting homelessness is in Madalyn’s DNA. She is the lead pastor of Immanuel Baptist Tabernacle in Robbinsdale, a church that specifically focuses on helping people experiencing homelessness. She and her congregation routinely serve food to people under bridges, outside The Salvation Army Harbor Light Shelter in Minneapolis, and elsewhere. 

“That’s what Christ commissioned all of us to do – serve,” said Madalyn, who founded the church eight years ago.  

In addition to rappelling, Down for the Challenge will feature an all-day carnival with food, games, exhibitor booths, and a jumbo screen showing a live-action feed of every rappeler.

When the time comes for Madalyn to rappel, a crowd of spectators will surely be watching. 

“All of my family, friends, neighbors, and church members can’t wait to see me go down the building – but I won’t be looking down,” Madalyn said with a laugh. 

Are you Down for the Challenge? Be among hundreds of people to rappel down a 14-story building at Mall of America, with chances to win awesome prizes. All proceeds fund local Salvation Army housing and homelessness-prevention programs. Learn more or register at DownForTheChallenge.com

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