'Tis the Season To Be Giving: Our 2022 Paw It Forward Winners
- Erin Swanson
At Ruffwear, we believe in using our business for good. Our Paw It Forward program helps us cultivate a world where all dogs and their humans thrive in the outdoors. 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.
Seeking some giving inspiration this holiday season? Here’s a recap of our winners for 2022 – with a few words from the Ruffwear employees and ambassadors who nominated them.
Our 2022 Paw It Forward Picks
Dog Adoption Category
Our dog adoption category highlights non-profit organizations that support the rescue and successful adoption of dogs needing a forever home.
Mission: RezDawg Rescue strives to address the needs of stray companion animals in the Four Corners region of the US by providing rescue, relocation, spaying/neutering, fostering, and adoption.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Alana Spears:
“I nominated RezDawg Rescue for Ruffwear's Paw It Forward program because I am constantly blown away by the incredible work of this organization and the abundance of care and love they provide to animals in the Four Corners region. I adopted my dog, Fitz, from RezDawg Rescue 5 years ago. When he was found by RezDawg Rescue he was diagnosed with parvovirus.
With generous donations, like ours, RezDawg's team is able to help dogs in desperate need of lifesaving care. My story, along with many others shared by RezDawg on a daily basis, is the reason for my nomination. Thank you RezDawg Rescue for all that you do!” - Alana
Mission: Strengthen the human-animal bond by advocating & compassionately caring for animals & their people.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Susan Strible:
“I nominated the Humane Society of Central Oregon because they are doing important work in our community to serve animals and humans with compassion and care. I appreciate their goals of bringing accessible veterinary services and supporting healthy bonds between pets and their people, among others.” - Susan
Working Dogs Category
Our working dogs category includes non-profit organizations that support/train/raise dogs to perform specific duties in service of people, science, or the natural environment.
Mission: We believe dogs have an innate ability to alter an individual’s take on life – both physically and mentally. Our mission is to grab ahold of that innate ability and teach dogs to use it in a way to empower and provide independence to our disabled recipients, who otherwise would be completely dependent on others.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Greg Freyberg:
“I was proud to nominate Little Angels Service Dogs for our Paw It Forward program. I have worked closely with them for the last five-plus years. They are committed to raising and developing life-changing service dogs to help with a wide spectrum of needs. They are a smaller organization, with a determination to grow. All of this coupled with groundbreaking adoption programs for rescue and career change dogs makes them stand out.” - Greg
Mission: The Seeing Eye's mission is to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye® dogs.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Andy Dobrzynski:
“I nominated The Seeing Eye, because they’ve had continued engagement with Ruffwear the last 5 years. They use our products for puppy raising and training, and they inspire us to make new products.” - Andy
Land Conservation Category
Our land conservation category features non-profit organizations that support the protection of public lands and access to recreational outdoor spaces where people and dogs go to play.
Mission: LandWatch is at the forefront of defending our region’s waterways, wildlife, farms, and forests and promoting vibrant and sustainable cities and towns. As an environmental watchdog and land use advocate, LandWatch defends what matters most to Central Oregonians.
Nominated by Ruffwear Ambassador, Graham Zimmerman:
“Central Oregon LandWatch is focused on preserving the landscapes of Central Oregon so these spaces can continue to provide us with joy, recreation, and a deep sense of awe – not to mention water and a lovely place to live. I want this place to remain a fantastic place to live for generations to come. For this reason, I work with and support COLW.” - Graham
Mission: POW helps passionate outdoor people protect the places we live and lifestyles we love from climate change. We are a community of athletes, scientists, creatives, and business leaders advancing non-partisan policies that protect our world today and for future generations.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Peter Kearns:
"Protect Our Winters has been an inspiration to me personally for the better part of the past decade. Their approach to mobilizing the outdoor community for broad and systemic change really resonates with me as a member of this community and as an advocate for climate action.
Several years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Washington DC, with their team, as part of their lobby days where we visited dozens of congress members talking about the need for action and change. Their effectiveness in those conversations was palpable and led to several critical votes in the 2020 election that helped move the climate agenda forward." - Peter
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Outdoors Category
Our DEI in the outdoors category focuses on 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.
Mission: Trail Folx is a nonprofit organization creating opportunities for L.A.’s underprivileged youth and underserved youth to participate in mountain sports. The goal is to increase representation in outdoor sports so that more and more kids can learn about, and participate in, outdoor activities.
Nominated by Ruffwear Ambassador, Marcus Rentie:
“I nominated Trail Folx because it is very near and dear to my heart. I am the Founder and Executive Director! Growing up in Los Angeles, I was lucky to be exposed to mountain sports at an early age. Now, I would like to pass the baton to young new eco-conscious stewards. I'm just trying to create something that I wished was available to young people when I was growing up!” - Marcus
Mission: The Venture Out Project envisions a world where queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ youth and adults create community, develop leadership skills, and gain confidence through the shared experience of outdoor adventure and physical activity.
Nominated by Ruffwear Employee, Peter Kearns:
“I’ve never felt any resistance or barrier to playing outside. I didn’t realize this was a privilege until I did. I’m impressed with TVOP’s mission which is to provide a safe and fun space for queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ people to experience the outdoors. A simple statement, but a very inspirational message.” - Peter
All Acts of Giving Matter
Our dogs have mastered the art of giving – sometimes it’s as simple as giving us a cuddle when we need it most. Perhaps instead of making a donation, you experience the joy of volunteering with your dog. No matter which way you choose to give back, we’re with you each step of the way – wagging our tails in support.
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