Hey there, friends! What a bizarre year it's been. We've been a bit quiet publicly but taking it all in and doing a lot of work behind the scenes over here. With all of our events for 2020 either cancelled or postponed, it actually offered us an opportunity to absorb everything happening in the world and dig deep into ourselves and our business and regroup on who we are, where we're heading and what role we can play in all of this. There's a lot still in the works but we wanted to update you on a few things from the past few months and an exciting announcement!
-Huge THANK YOU to everyone who purchased a shirt over the past 6 months! We are sending in our check today to Mission 22. Every few months we pick a new partner to support with $1 per shirt sold and we were so glad to team up with them for the first part of the year.
-We are also excited to be sending a check over to The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. This fundraiser is still going. Purchase a "socially distant" sticker to help support it! SHOP NOW
-The local hike club in Grand Rapids has shifted over to Great Escape Fitness. If you have questions about it, please contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-If you aren't already, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram! We'll be switching it up a bit on both platforms with the goal of being less pre-planned, more organic and authentic, and a mix of informative and inspirational. While social media can be full of noise and often lacks depth, we also feel it can be an incredible tool to build community and connection if used properly.
-We've had a few comments/questions regarding our Black Lives Matter posts and subsequent silence so I want to address that in the best way I know how right now. Our silence was absolutely NOT complacency. We do not feel the need to show off the work we are doing right now to support the movement and trust that our future actions and words will speak for themselves. We are not neutral. We stand with this movement and with our Black friends. Same goes for our LGBTQIA community, Indigenous friends, and everyone else who has been denied rights and freedoms. We know we cannot remain silent, but that was what was needed over these past few weeks for us to be able to move forward.
And now. . .ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!
We are so excited to be teaming up with The Mitten Brewing Company's Mitten Foundation and The City of Grand Rapids to bring a universally accessible playground and ground surface to one of our local parks! We are currently working on a virtual challenge to help raise funds, but have a lot more in store, so please stay tuned!
We were drawn to the project for a variety of reasons. One, it's local. We literally live a block away from this park and frequent it multiple times a week. While we love teaming up with groups and programs from around the globe, we have realized how important it is to be involved in our local community and felt this was a way to make a real difference in the lives of folks we see every day. The outdoor community often overlooks the every day person and their lack of access to outdoor spaces. We see athletes climbing mountains and physically fit white dudes on month long treks and feel like we don't belong. I've personally worked with at risk teens who had never even been to a park and didn't know they were allowed to walk on the trails. I've talked with friends in wheelchairs who feel they are limited to their own backyard. The outdoors is for EVERYONE and we need to do a better job of sharing that. The work being done on this city park will not only provide an accessible place for everyone to enjoy the outdoors, I believe it will highlight the importance of spaces like this within our cities and the opportunity to spend time outside regardless of physical abilities.