05/12/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/11/2021 22:13
Freeport, ME, May 12, 2021
Outdoor brand L.L.Bean announced today plans to continue investing in a range of organizations and initiatives focused on supporting local communities and increasing outdoor access for all. The new partners are comprised of national and local organizations who not only embody the purpose of the outdoor company - which is to ensure the wellbeing of others through time spent outside - but who also engage and support diverse communities. With nearly $30 million committed over the past decade, this year's contributions total $6 million and will be directed to initiate first-of-its kind programming for several new organizations.
New partners, projects and programming include:
Boys & Girls Clubs of America:
Through a new two-year partnership, L.L.Bean will work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to expand its Sports and Recreation Programming at all Clubs nationwide. This will be Boys & Girls Clubs of America's first program of its kind with an outdoor company. The formalized curriculum will integrate 'Social Recreation' through hands‐on active learning, supporting emotional wellness activities and reducing the barriers for kids to have new, unique and engaging experiences in the outdoors. In addition, L.L.Bean will offer Outdoor Discovery Programs (ODP) at select Clubs, with expert guides on-site to introduce children and youth to a range of outdoor activities.
The Outdoor Foundation - Thrive Outside Community:
L.L.Bean will support the Outdoor Foundation's Thrive Outside Community initiative beginning in 2021. Thrive Outside is focused on reversing the trend of decreased outdoor youth participation by working at the grassroots level. The Outdoor Foundation helps resource regions throughout the country to make outdoor recreation accessible to all through multi-year, capacity-building grants to diverse communities. The intent of Thrive Outside is to build and strengthen networks that provide children and families with repeat positive experiences in the outdoors.
The Ecology School:
Funding camps for kids and families, L.L.Bean's partnership with The Ecology School will help learners of all ages experience the world around them through an outdoor-first education approach. The Ecology School, located at River Bend Farm in Saco, Maine, focuses on transforming how people think about science, food and sustainability through hands-on learning for all ages.
OUT There Adventures:
Continuing its focus on equality in the outdoors, L.L.Bean will partner with OUT There Adventures, an adventure education organization committed to fostering positive identity development, individual empowerment and improved quality of life for queer young people through professionally facilitated experiential education activities.
The Trust for Public Land:
As part of a multi-year partnership with The Trust for Public Land that started in 2018, L.L.Bean will invest in three new community projects focused on creating and improving green space in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philadelphia, Penn., and Chiloquin, Ore. through the L.L.Bean Community Award. To date, L.L.Bean and TPL have initiated nine park projects, many of which are in underserved communities, with the goal to ensure all people have access to close-to-home nature, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of improving health, equity and justice.
Cambodian Community Association of Maine:
L.L.Bean will partner for the first time with the Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM), a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic wellbeing of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement.
The EqualityMaine Foundation joins L.L.Bean's list of new partners in 2021. Founded in 1984, EqualityMaine Foundation is the state's oldest LGBTQ+ organization working toward full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer people in Maine. Signature community education and outreach programs that seek to support vulnerable LGBTQ+ communities include their New Leaders Project Summer Camp for youth and SAGE Maine programs for older adults.
Unified Asian Communities:
A new organization founded in 2020, Maine-based Unified Asian Communities emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the Maine community, offering programs and resources to advance equality for New England's Asian populations. The organization will be a new L.L.Bean community partner this year.
In addition to new partnerships and programs, L.L.Bean will continue to invest in a range of ongoing partnerships through its Outdoor Access Fund and Community Fund, including the National Park Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, National Urban League, Camber Outdoors, Nature Conservancy, Teens to Trails, WinterKids, Student Conservation Association, American Hiking Society, United Way, American Red Cross, Leave No Trace, Appalachian Mountain Club, Good Shepherd Food Bank and many more.
'If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the outdoors can have a remarkable impact on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,' said Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of L.L.Bean. 'We're proud to partner with these organizations to ensure that the restorative benefits of being outdoors is more accessible and as inclusive as possible.'
For more information about L.L.Bean, visit llbean.com.
About L.L. Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. Still family owned, Shawn Gorman, great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2013. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In 2020, L.L.Bean donated over $6 million to 100+ outdoor and community-enriching organizations, many of which focus on increasing access to outdoor spaces. L.L.Bean operates 54 stores in 19 states across the United States, along with 25 stores in Japan. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.