Outdoor Outreach will receive one percent of the sales of Gramicci’s new Fall 2012 collection as the natural performance climbing and outdoor apparel company expands its ongoing Start Somewhere social and environmental philanthropic initiative.
The decision to donate the raised funds to Outdoor Outreach builds on a relationship Gramicci has fostered with the nonprofit organization since 2006.
“We admire Chris Rutgers and the momentous work his organization does bringing hope to at-risk kids,” said Marty Weening, Gramicci president. “He’s changing lives for the better by exposing kids to the beauty of our outdoor world, and embedding hope and happiness to those that have been exposed to little of either. This is great work that deserves to be nurtured and rolled out on a national level.”
Deeply inspired, Weening created Start Somewhere in 2008 as an online portal to provide stories about social and environmental change-making people and organizations. The company hopes to inspire its more than 200,000 readers to find and support causes that resonate with them.
The Start Somewhere program also included converting the company’s product offerings from zero percent organic to now more than 60 percent percent organic, and ensuring the men’s and women’s products were made in certified fair labor factories.
“Since joining Gramicci six years ago, I’ve been humbled and encouraged by how deeply people in the outdoor industry care about the world around them,” said Weening. “As a result, we’re striving to become a more conscious, purpose-driven business. Start Somewhere was founded to encourage people to find a change-making cause that most resonates with them and just start somewhere towards making much needed change.”
Outdoor Outreach (OO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive, lasting changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming. Outdoor Outreach programs support underserved youth who are at risk for school dropout, substance abuse, violence and unintended pregnancy. Since 1999, they have helped over 5,800 youth by utilizing outdoor physical experiences combined with academic and social support to provide the support, relationships, resources and opportunities they need to become successful adults.
In addition to monetary donations to OO, Gramicci currently supports two Outdoor Outreach athletes as spokespersons and Gramicci team testers. These athletes are Ryan Hudson- a pro All Mountain snowboarder and Jesse Delgado- Pro/ All Mountain snowboarder. They are graduates, instructors and mentors for Outdoor Outreach, giving back to a program that substantially altered their lives, beckoning new world of new opportunities and skills.
Gramicci launched a deliberate effort to ‘giving back’ more than five years ago after Weening heard Richard Levin, president of Yale University say, “Never forget the large responsibility that you are among those capable of ensuring that the fate of humanity is decided not by accident and force but reflection and choice. Rise to that choice.”