the North Face announced the recipients of their 2012 Explore Fund, a grant program that has been established with the goal of inspiring and enabling the next generation of explorers. In this first cycle he company has given away $125,000 to 51 non-profit organization, spread out across 23 states, each of which have a direct impact on connecting young people with the outdoors.
Some of the non-profts that will benefit from the award include Big City Mountaineers, an organization that works with urban youth to introduce them to outdoor experiences, and the YMCA which has been integral in keeping kids active for years. These are just a few of the organizations that North Face has helped fund however, and a second round of grants, worth another $125,000, will come later this year. For a complete list of these recipients click here.
I'm a big proponent for getting kids outside and enjoying nature, but it seems that fewer and fewer of them are doing that. I know that between television, video games, the Internet and a variety of other technological devices that we have more distractions in our life than ever, but I think that is all the more reason to unplug and go outside. Considering that tomorrow is National Get Outdoors Day, I can't think of a more appropriate time to help spread this message. I love my gadgets as much as anyone, but I also value my time outdoors and I can't imagine not being able to take advantage of that.