Outside Perspectives (one-year old!) has been fortunate for the support in raising $15,000 earlier this year. We are stretching our funds far and are continuing to seek out grants and foundations to help us raise the remaining amount. We are very optimistic moving forward as we continue to build significant relationships with new partners. Several of these partnerships are so committed to working with Outside Perspectives that they are applying for grants for their youth on our behalf!
We are at an exciting point in our evolution as an organization as we now require our own expedition gear in order to provide for the new groups coming on board. We are announcing a GEAR-RAISING CAMPAIGN to reach out to our community and to those who believe in our mission. In this unique drive, we are providing a simple way for donors to purchase specific gear items so that you know exactly where your money is going. We have secured a wholesale retailer to supply us with quality gear at low prices. You might be surprised at how little we need to move past this barrier to getting youth outside!
To thank donors we will be attaching a name patch with the donor’s name (or a name/word of his or her choice) to some of the larger items. This will remind us of the community support we are receiving along the way and will help us distinguish the gear while in the field. In a way, our donors will be with us in the woods climbing every mountain!
Sample Name Patch
Ok, so here is a racap of the bottom line….in order to take youth on backpacking trips, we need to provide backpacking gear. We aim to prepare youth to safely take on challenges and to not give up in the face of adversity. To do this we must be able to keep them safe, dry and warm, regardless of conditions. Some participants arrive on course with cotton sleeping bags, dollar store plastic ponchos, cotton hoodies as their only layer, and single use water bottles (which, we have found, easily break in packs).
So why this campaign?
- To ensure opportunities for affordable and accessible expeditions for all participants regardless of financial situation.
- To ensure safe and quality experiences.
- To avoid canceling courses due to weather.
One very important partner that will benefit from this endeavor is the CT Youth Excellence Program (YEP). An amazing program working with adolescent boys who are in foster care, receiving services from the Department of Children and Families, or who are adopted through the child welfare system. These young men do monthly overnight camping trips. We gathered and scrounged together enough gear to take them on an overnight course earlier this summer. It was a HUGE success! YEP is working to hire us monthly for next year, as well as, for a week long expedition next August. To make this a reality, we must be able to provide backpacking gear.
For those of you wondering: what happened to the partnership with gear-lender Youth Opportunities Program (YOP)? I thought you already had access to gear?! For our New York City youth, we are still able to borrow gear from YOP. However, for the youth we are beginning to serve in CT and distances further from New York City, this borrowing strategy is not financially feasible for them due to the distance. We are also finding that without our own gear, we are not able to offer the type of “bridge programming” from shorter to longer expeditions which is what will allow us to build relationships with new partner organizations.
If you are willing to donate today — a big thank you! — please follow the four simple steps below:
1. You can find the donation form here. Please click on the link and complete the form.
2. After filling out the form, click on the link at the bottom to make your payment through PayPal.
3. Once completed, please post on Facebook to tell all your friends and family about this great cause. (Optional and can be done even if you don’t donate.)
4. Feel awesome knowing you helped our participants have safe and transformative expeditions!
Thank you for your time and your continued support of Outside Perspectives.
And a HUGE THANK YOU to
The Connecticut Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who recently donated $500.00 for 22 rain jackets!