We're Pawing It Forward ... And You Can, Too!
- Erin Swanson
Dogs teach us what it means to give back. To be generous without bounds. To love others unconditionally. Whether it’s motivating us to venture outside, embracing us with warm cuddles, or supporting those of us with different abilities – our tail-wagging sidekicks are always giving.
‘Tis the Season to Be Giving
Tart apples, crimson-stained leaves, a hint of snow to come – these are the marks of the season of giving. At Ruffwear, we too have giving on the mind. We’re purpose driven – we believe in using our business for good.
Cultivating a world where all dogs and their human companions thrive in the outdoors is part of our DNA.
As fellow dog-loving, adventure-seeking, wilderness-wandering explorers, you too might want a high quality of life for dogs, an inclusive & adventurous outdoor community, and land conservation.
We’re with you. Together, we can uphold these values now and in the future.
Tail-Wagging Our Way Towards a Better Future
Enter our Paw It Forward program. Twice a year, we donate to organizations in four categories that align with our values: dog adoption, working dogs, land conservation, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the outdoors.
Looking for ways to give back this Giving Tuesday? Here are some of our favorite organizations we’ve given back to recently.
Our 2021 Paw It Forward Picks:
Dog Adoption Category
Oregon Humane Society: Creating a more humane society. Vision: A world where all animals are treated with compassion, kindness, and respect.
Old Dog Haven: Old Dog Haven is committed to the belief that all senior dogs should live peacefully in their final years as members of a caring family.
Land Conservation Category
The Nature Conservancy: Conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.
MN350/RISE - Opposing Line 3: MN350’s Pipeline Resistance Team and RISE Coalition (Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging) are working in coordination to oppose Line 3, a tar sands oil pipeline through the northern part of MN which, in addition to environmental costs, also violates treaties with the Ojibwe people.
Working Dogs Category
Guide Dogs for the Blind: Empowering lives by creating exceptional partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. Envisioning a world with greater inclusion, opportunity, and independence by optimizing the unique capabilities of people and dogs.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Outdoors Category
Oregon Adaptive Sports: Oregon Adaptive Sports envisions a day when everyone has the benefits of outdoor recreation, regardless of ability. They provide state-of-the-art equipment, professional instruction, staff, and dedicated volunteers, resulting in top quality experiences for their participants.
Wild Diversity: Wild Diversity helps to create a personal connection to the outdoors for Black, Indigenous, all People of Color (BIPOC), and the LGBTQ+ communities, through outdoor adventures and education.
How Does The Paw It Forward Program Work?
Our Paw It Forward vision and mission statements are our roadmap as we embark on the journey to build a better world.
Vision: Every dog deserves a loving home and wild places to explore.
Mission: Impact and strengthen the dog/human bond through contributions to organizations that facilitate dog adoption, support working dogs, protect wild places, and promote diversity and equity in the outdoors.
Caroline Eyman, Ruffwear’s Email Campaign Coordinator, has worked with the Paw It Forward program for two years. Here, she explains what it means to her:
"For me, the best part of being a member of Paw It Forward (PIF) is seeing firsthand how our strategy has evolved to lead us towards a clear mission and vision, a diverse pool of nominations, an educational voting process, and the ability to give to more non-profits. PIF embraces adaptation, and I am excited to see where this mindset takes us." - Caroline Eyman
How Do We Vote?
We have two giving periods throughout the year – one in June and one in November. Every employee and member of the Ruffwear ambassador team has the chance to nominate and vote for one non-profit organization per each of our four categories:
- Dog Adoption: Non-profit organizations that support the rescue and successful adoption of dogs needing a forever home.
- Working Dogs: Non-profit organizations that support/train/raise dogs to perform specific duties in service of people, science, or the natural environment.
- Land Conservation: Non-profit organizations that support the protection of public lands and access to recreational outdoor spaces where people and dogs go to play.
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) in the Outdoors: Non-profit organizations that support a mission to diversify the outdoor community, create equitable access to outdoor spaces, and promote inclusion of all outdoor recreationalists.
We invited our Ruffwear Ambassadors to participate in the nominating and voting process to diversify our nomination pool. They offer a variety of perspectives, viewpoints, and values – and help bring attention to organizations that do powerful work across the country and globe.
Giving Takes Many Forms
Remember, making a donation is not the only way to make a difference. You might prefer to organize a trail clean up, invite a new friend to join you and your dog for a hike, or volunteer at your local shelter. Or, check out Giving Tuesday’s ideas for other ways to give back.
As our dogs have taught us, each act of giving matters. There’s no act too small – even if it’s just a gentle, wet-nosed boop when we need it most.
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