The L.L.Bean board of directors approved the 2012 Charitable Giving Program of $1.5 Million in Community Grants. The gifts ranging from $500 to $25,000 will be dispersed to over 200 non-profit organizations before the end of L.L.Bean’s fiscal year in February.
The majority of the giving is to national, regional and local conservation organizations with a focus on environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation with a particular interest in engaging young people in the outdoors. Additional areas of giving in Maine include donations to health and human services, education, and arts organizations, including such groups as United Way, Jobs for Maine’s Graduates, Portland Stage and L/A Arts.
“We are pleased to provide funding to so many worthy organizations,” said Leon Gorman, L.L.Bean’s chairman of the board. “These groups share the values and traditions of L.L.Bean including healthy outdoor living, a respect for our natural environment and a focus on getting youth actively engaged in the outdoors.”
Over the last 10 years L.L.Bean has donated close to $30 million to nonprofit organizations. Groups receiving Community Grants this year include the Appalachian Mountain Club, American Canoe Association, Nature Conservancy, Maine Audubon, Maine Island Trails Association, and sporting groups such as Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society and Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. The company is also continuing its support of the Island Explorer propane bus system in Acadia National Park providing eco-friendly, free transportation for visitors.
Additionally, in honor of L.L.Bean’s 100th Anniversary this year, the company committed $2.5 Million focused specifically on increasing the participation of young people in outdoor pursuits. The National Park Foundation received $1 Million and has already helped kids and teens across the country get outdoors and work with mentors. Theyve hiked in national parks, kayaked along national seashores, and worked an archaeological dig.
In its home state of Maine, L.L.Bean donated $1 million to expand the Maine Winter Sports Center’s Healthy Hometowns program into a year-round, statewide recreation effort. This program offers Maine kids more opportunities to get outdoors and participate in activities like paddling, hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing. Locally, the company invested $500,000 in the Freeport Fields and Trails project to provide access to recreation for local residents and visitors to the community.
“We share our customers passion for the outdoors and we wanted to create a way to pass on this enthusiasm to future generations,” said Chris McCormick, CEO of L.L.Bean. “L.L.Bean’s anniversary efforts have inspired more than one million people to share their outdoor experiences through our Million Moment Mission initiative. And in the years ahead, we are certain this momentum will encourage more and more people to participate and share their outdoor discoveries with others.”