Giving Back and Getting Outdoors this Holiday Season

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I’m getting ready to head to Colorado for the holidays with my family, and I’m crossing my fingers for some fresh powder at Breckenridge. As the year ends, I’ve also been thinking about what I’m grateful for.

I live in Seattle, a city with quick and easy access to the outdoors. I can hop on my bike and ride trails to the office. I can grab my kayak and slip into Lake Washington for a quick evening paddle. I’m lucky to have so many options to get outside.

It reminds me why we work so hard to increase outdoor access for people across the country. In the spirit of the holiday season, I want to say thanks to all five million of our members for your support in helping us give back to the outdoors.

This year, REI has given $4.6 million to more than 300 nonprofit organizations that are making it easier for more people to experience the joy of the outdoors. Employees and members put their backs into projects to build and maintain hiking trails, increase waterway access for paddlers and improve public parks.

This work is what we’re all about as a co-op and something that I’m very proud of. From all of us at REI, we hope you can get some fresh air and enjoy quality time outside with your friends and family this holiday season!

  • Craig Piefer

    Hey Jerry! Hope to see ya around town this Christmas. I checked the snow for you yesterday…It’s good! See ya at the Roastery!

  • Deborah Baker

    Thanks for the positive wishes — and for the support of our Riverfront Recapture parks in Hartford and East Hartford, CT. We encourage our 900,000 annual visitors to take advantage of the wooded trails system that REI funding has been helping us build and maintain — great for walking, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. I look forward to seeing others (besides me) on those trails this winter!
    Debbie Baker, Riverfront Recapture staff member, donor – and outdoor enthusiast

    • Rich Levin

      Thank you and best holiday wishes to all the people here in Sacramento that serve at our REI’s. We appreciate you and our community. We live for conservvation and love our nature! Ranger Rich!

  • Roxanne Kass

    REI needs to promote this great work that they do, more often. Who knew? Thanks REI, I knew you rocked!

  • Jeanne McGrath

    Thank you for everything you do! Merry Christmas!

  • Dan Pierson

    Keep up the great work! There’s a reason I go far out of my way to shop at REI — excellent service, a commitment to treating your employees with respect, and the co-ops stewardship of the outdoors. Here’s to adventures in 2015!

  • John Strumpell

    Thanks everyone at REI. REI helped get me back outdoors about 5 years ago. Since I live in the small town of Lynchburg, Va, I poped into the Atlanta store while on a business trip to get a great pair of Vasque boots. I broke them in on the Appalachian Trail, followed by Grand Canon, West Coast Trail, Gunsight Pass in GNP, and Walkers Haute Route amoung others. The expert staff at REI has helped me get gear that works!

  • Rohan Campbell

    happy holidays to Jerry and family

  • PJSweeney

    Jerry – please make 2015 the year of #AdventureEducation. We’re raising a generation of wimps in the USA and the cure is to get kids outdoors, teach them key skills that climbing, trekking, mountaineering, biking and other disciplines demand.
    Let’s end this era of bulldozer parenting trying to smooth the easiest path possible for kids and get them back to being tough, gritty and full of curiosity.
    Before I climbed Mt Rainier with my 9 year old we outfitted at REI – thanks for the help! And help spread the word and inspire other families – that’s what I’m trying to do. You can see our climb here in 3 videos:

    • REI

      We love to get kids outdoors, too! With more than 70 million people in the U.S. under the age of 18, we see this as a big-time challenge of scale. So, through the REI Foundation we’ve been investing in NGOs that focus on getting kids and young adults outside, and in a way that scales. Investments include the YMCA’s BOLD/GOLD program, Outdoor Nation, Transforming Youth Outdoors, the Natural Leaders Network, and GirlTrek. We’re also a founding member and contributor to the DC-based Outdoor Alliance for Kids, which is focused on
      public policy approaches. In our home state of Washington, we’re partnering with Islandwood to advocate for funding the existing “no child left inside” law. We are trying to do our part and appreciate your enthusiasm.

  • Daisy72

    Thanks REI for another awesome year of great adventures, and great dependable equipment. First we purchased our own gear in the 70 s. In the nineties, we equipped each of our three kids, all of whom camp and pack with their kids. This year, sleeping bags and Thermorests were under the tree for grandsons. Squeals and shouts, and at least two little guys that woke Christmas morning in REI bags with visions of adventures dancing thru their heads. Thanks for a great company that always gives back. Merry Christmas!

  • Tom Arbanas

    Reward the country as a volunteer.

  • Tom Maltais

    Merry Christmas, Everyone!

  • Will REI ever come to the Northeast? Vermont for example.

  • Jack Steele

    I’m really proud to be a member of REI. What we do as a co-op helps preserve, protect, and make the outdoors more accessible to others. The world is a better place with REI as a part of it.

  • Elaine Calzadilla

    Thanks REI for another awesome year of great adventures, and great dependable equipment. Merry Christmas morning in REI bags with visions of adventures dancing thru their heads. Thanks for a great company that always gives back.

  • Fantastic! Nothing better than getting your hands dirty and volunteering for the good of all.

  • Thierry Francois

    Thanks for the hard work and having a store like REI available to outdoor enthusiasts.
    Our family love REI and its mission.
    Best wishes for 2015 with lots of opportunities to help the outdoors being play ground to all of us.

    P.S: One of my 2015 resolutions is to start ice climbing!!!f

  • George Hamm

    Sending peace and joy from Charlotte, NC. We enjoy spending time at our local REI and learning from the experts along with building great relationships. We know most employees on a first name basis. Thanks for all that you and your employees do to better our outdoor experiences,

  • $133188276

    Hey Jerry. I just left my job at REI and I want to know why 90% of my training was devoted to selling memberships and 10% was towards the product itself. What type of incentives are stores/managers given such that an inordinate disproportion exists? With no exaggeration, 8/10 times a manager or lead engaged me, it concerned selling memberships. That’s not right and you know it.

    • REI

      We’d like to connect you with the right team at REI HQ to learn more about your experience. Please email us at with your contact information.

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