A Recap of Our Outreach in 2022Posted by Whole Earth | 01.17.2023
A Recap of Our Outreach in 2022
Looking back on 2022, it was a good year for Whole Earth's Outreach programs and events. Much of our success comes from the generosity and participation of our customers and friends. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and hope that you'll join us in 2023 for more events and more opportunities to share with outstanding organizations in our communities.
Black Outside, Inc. and a Natural Tribute t-shirt
In February, Whole Earth highlighted the work of Black Outside, Inc., a San Antonio non-profit that connects youth of color to the outdoors. With programs like the Bloom Project, Brothers with the Land, and Camp Founder Girls, Black Outside, Inc. instills their core values within their community: Explore Self. Explore Culture. Explore Outdoors!
Natural Tribute designed a special fundraising t-shirt and cap for Black Outside, Inc. featuring an owl. The image honored Harriet Tubman who mimicked the sound of owls to alert freedom seekers of safe passage on the underground railroad. Five dollars of each purchase of a Natural Tribute Black Outside Collaboration t-shirt and cap was donated to the organization.
This year, on Saturday, February 4th from 6:30 to 8:30 at our San Antonio store, Whole Earth and Patagonia are joining forces to bring you a very special evening of films and discussion that will include Alex Bailey of Black Outside., Inc. The films to be shown are A Northern Light and Slim Pickins. A Northern Light features Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate as he paddles, fishes, and explores the beauty of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area in Northern Minnesota.
The second film, Slim Pickins, is the story of Slim Pickins Outfitters, the nation's first Black-owned outdoor gear shop, and its owners Jahmicah and Heather Dawes. The pandemic had a terrible impact on the store. This film helped to raise $172,000 to keep the store open through a GoFundMe campaign. Both Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate and Jamicah Dawes will be joining Alex Bailey for the discussion. You can register for the event here.
Our Fiesta Medal and Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
In 2022, Fiesta San Antonio was back as a springtime festival! It's an eleven-day celebration of history, culture, music, and food with over 100 events to enjoy. Fiesta medals are a beloved tradition in San Antonio. Businesses and organizations across the city offer their own medals, including Whole Earth. They're worn proudly on sashes and vests and are popular with collectors who buy, sell, and swap them. Fiesta medals can also be fundraisers for groups that give back to the community.
Our 2022 Fiesta Medal benefited Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, an organization that has been saving lives since 1977 - 45 years! The medal highlighted the iconic smokestacks at our Alamo Quarry Market store as well as the bats who visit for a quick meal in the evening.
The proceeds of our 2022 Fiesta Medal, over $1100, helped to sustain the work of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation: rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing native wildlife and providing sanctuary, individualized care, and a voice for other animals in need. In 2021 alone, they cared for close to 11,000 animals and responded to more than 17,000 inquiries and calls for help. They are once again the beneficiary of our 2023 Fiesta medal which will go on sale sometime in February in our San Antonio store.
April Is Texas State Parks Month
Eleven years ago when our Texas State Parks were facing budget cuts and even the threat of some Park closures, Whole Earth created April is Texas State Parks Month. We combined the proceeds from our Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour shows in Austin with an in-store fund drive. In 2022, Whole Earth customers donated over $16,000, bringing the 11-year total of funds raised for the Parks to over $271,800! These funds have been used to help with day-to-day Park operational expenses, including visitor programs and maintaining Park facilities. And in 2022, donations were used to print 1,234,170 trail maps for 70 of the 88 Texas State Parks!
In 2023, we're pleased to announce that our Banff Mountain Festival World Tour shows will be returning to the Paramount Theatre in Austin. The shows are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings, May 5th and 6th. Tickets will be going on sale at the end of February here. We hope you'll be able to join us for these evenings of adrenaline-fueled outdoor sports films and those showcasing mountain cultures from around the world, selected from the best films at the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Festival in Banff, Canada. Proceeds from the shows will support our Texas State Parks and be combined with the funds raised in the 2023 April Is Texas State Park Month drive in our stores.
Superfeet Gives 1% Back
In July, we learned that we had been selected as one of four retailers chosen by Superfeet to receive a $1000 grant to fund a forward-thinking organization of our choice! Every year Superfeet donates 1% of its sales to causes chosen by its employees. We were honored to be among the first retailers chosen to direct a Superfeet grant. Whole Earth made our $1000 donation to the Honnold Foundation.
Since 2012, the Honnold Foundation has been working to support energy independence in communities around the world. They provide grants to organizations advancing solar energy access. The Foundation believes that energy should be easy to access, affordable, and have a low impact on the natural world. They look for partners whose work reduces environmental impact and increases social and economic equity, and who demonstrate strong ties to the communities they serve.
Merrell Gives Back to the Texas Land Conservancy
In September, Merrell sponsored a generous giveback for the Texas Land Conservancy. For each pair of adult Merrell shoes purchased at Whole Earth, Merrell donated $10 to the Conservancy. The final total of funds raised was over $1300!
The Texas Land Conservancy (TLC) is an organization dear to our hearts. It was founded in 1982 by Ned Fritz, known as the father of Texas conservation. Responding to the encroachment of development on natural areas in Texas, Fritz decided there was a need for a land trust that would take on the preservation of small but important properties that were not large enough to be saved by other organizations. Using conservation easements TLC has preserved the physical and ecological integrity of wildlife habitat, native plant communities and scenic landscapes across the state. Over 120,000 acres are now protected thanks to TLC.
Oboz Trail Experience
In October, Oboz, Whole Earth, and the Hill Country Conservancy sponsored the Oboz Trail Experience. Hikers were invited to complete as many segments as they could of 111 miles of trails during the month of October. By walking, hiking, or running, they were able to check off selected trails and segments at their own pace over the month.
All participants received swag from Oboz and Whole Earth, plus other rewards that were unlocked by completing promoted trail segments throughout the Experience. Hikers who completed trail segments were also entered into a drawing to win one of five pairs of Oboz boots! Some trails were old friends. Others may have been new to some. It was an excellent opportunity to get outdoors in October and experience trails from San Marcos to Lakeway, and from East Austin to the Balcones Canyonlands. In the end, 197 people hiked over 7300 miles! Plus, there were two gatherings for participants to meet one another! Donations were also made to the Hill Country Conservancy including $250 each from Oboz and Whole Earth.
New Toy and Kids' Book Drive
From mid-November to early December, Whole Earth sponsored the New Toy and Kids’ Book Drive. For the 11th year, we collected new toys and books for children who, through no fault of their own, might not receive gifts for the holidays. Your generosity has provided children in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio with presents to brighten their day. Both Whole Earth and the charitable organizations that distribute the gifts were very grateful for the donations.
The toys and books were distributed by these organizations: in Austin – Manos de Cristo; in Dallas – Bryan's House; in Houston – Star of Hope Mission; and in San Antonio – The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas. To everyone who donated to our New Toy and Kids' Book Drive, we're happy to announce that over 700 children have had a brighter holiday. Thank you for your generosity!
We're looking forward in 2023 to hosting more events in our stores and in support of organizations that benefit our communities. You can check our Events Calendar to learn more. We hope you'll join us for fun and good company.