2017 Educational Outreach Success!

A few days ago, we told you about four fantastic nonprofit groups to which we donated funding because of your purchases.  Today, I’d like to share another success story.
Our company supports first responders in two different ways:
1)   Direct financial support of first responder organizations, and
2)   Educational outreach designed to prevent wildfires and other outdoor emergencies.
Chad Willemssen, our volunteer advisor on fire safety and first responder organizations, says this latter piece actually may be the most important work we do. After all, it’s remarkably cost effective. And, he asks, what better way to support first responders than by preventing the dangerous situations that they might be called upon to handle in the field? Education just makes good sense.
To that end, we presented at some of the biggest paddling shows in the United States in 2017, and now have started setting up information booths at select shows. We’ve also given talks in more traditional public spaces, too, such as the public library and high school classroom.

We’ve not done this work alone. Dedicated individuals and organizations have frequently helped, like Linda and Gary DeKock of the Quiet Water Society.  (We’ve mentioned their own very successful charitable work in this blog previously.) The Quiet Water Society’s commitment to safety was so strong that they paid the printing costs to provide show attendees with our outdoor emergency kit checklist, as well as a list of items that should be added to most first aid kits. For the 2018 event, that information will be included in an article in the free show program, thus guaranteeing even greater coverage.
The result of all this work is that we’ve produced on-target safety messages and distributed printed materials to thousands of people. Whether it was about “Packing the Perfect ‘Oh Sh!t’ Emergency Kit” or covering fire safety in each and every one of our destination presentations, we’ve met and talked to a lot of paddlers, hikers and campers. And we’re planning on more booths, more shows, and more school visits in 2018! (We’ll also be going further afield, to Canada and possibly Europe in 2019 too!)
Is this worth it? We think so. And so do a lot of you, if your emails are any indication. Shortly after our standing-room-only presentation at Canoecopia last year, we received an email from attendee Nancy Bradbury: “I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your presentation at Canoecopia today! It was the highlight of our day… Thanks again, and good luck with your most worthwhile venture!”
We’re thrilled by that kind of response, and proud of the work we do to support first responders. Whether that support is by donation or education, it’s really two sides of the same coin.

So we’ll say it again: Thank you for all of your support. It’s through your purchases and word-of-mouth publicity that all of this happens.
Take care, and thanks again for being (the) outdoor kind!