As an Executive Director of Gear Forward, I get the privilege to work with some amazing, selfless, and unbelievably giving people around the country. These people come from all walks of life, from all around the country, and give of their time, talent, and energy for the betterment of our youth in need. I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have taken time over the course of the past nine months to bring Gear Forward to the very positive posture it is presently in. Without these existing friends, newly made friends, and colleagues Gear Forward would not be a present and a continuing reality.
Cold calling concerning a new idea and explaining that we (Gear Forward) are simply here to help and we want nothing in return can be quite the trick. Every person at a Boy Scout Council office we have called has been extremely receptive, thankful, honest, and open to our concept and idea and I thank them for that.
The support of our partners who help spread the word about Gear Forward through their online presence is a vital life line to the outdoor community at large, as Gear Forward is truly a labor of love and dependent on this link.
Our partner retailers and manufacturers of outdoor gear who continually give of themselves, their time, staff, and products in the face of themselves needing to stay afloat is continually appreciated by Gear Forward.
And finally you, the outdoor community who cares so much about the youth in need, the environment in which we are leaving them, and the understanding of the need for new stewards of that environment, we thank you for your continued support.
Nine quick months have transpired of Gear Forward being in existence, since then our community and reach has grown from coast to coast. I wanted to detail who has benefited from your donations over the past many months and who our continued focus will be. Gear Forward is aimed at providing outdoor gear to youth, but we are keeping focused on ensuring that the donations get to the most needy of youth. Here are just a few examples of the youth in need that have been or will be recipients soon of outdoor gear donated by Gear Forward:
Refugee Boy Scouts as part of the Boy Scouts of America All Markets Program to develop active troops in underserved portions of the community - The gear donated to these boys allowed them to actively participate in the 2016 National Boy Scout Jamboree
Hispanic Boy Scout Troop as part of an after-school program, in addition, the program is being expanded to include a Venture Troop for the boys, sisters. The gear donated will be provided to both boys and girls in need in both troops
Rural Boy Scout troops in need of gear for their younger scouts.
Donations direct to families in need (single moms with multiple boys in scouting) who can't afford sleeping bags, tents, and backpacks for their children to participate in the outdoor activities and positive male influenced environments that young boys need at this age.
These are just a few examples of the donations we have been a part of over the past few months. Many of the people who donate a piece of their unneeded or unused gear don't care to know where it ends up, just as long as it ends up in the hands of youth who need it. We honor that trust and appreciate each donation along with your continued support. We want current and future supporters of Gear Forward to know the immense difference you are all making in these young people's lives with the donation of a used sleeping bag or tent. You truly are changing their lives and we thank you for that.
As we move forward towards our first anniversary of Gear Forward we wish to reach more youth around the rest of the United States and beyond. We have launched our 50 States in the 1 Year Campaign to spur donations from or to all 50 States in the country. Help us reach our goal by donating to Gear Forward by the end of 2016. For more information click here.