Jerry Stritzke: The Co-op Stands With California

To the REI community in California,

On Thursday, people across the country will come together and give thanks for the things that matter most. This season, it’s hard to say thanks for what we have without thinking about all that’s been lost in California. From the truly tragic loss of life, to the serious damage to beautiful, iconic places, the last few weeks have been incredibly hard for California and for everyone who cares about its people and places.

For 80 years, our co-op has been committed to awakening a lifelong love of the outdoors. That means inspiring folks to step outside, but also investing in the trails, the sites and the spaces that make it possible. We want you to know that REI is actively supporting the relief and recovery effort financially through the California Community Foundation, and as California rebuilds from this season’s terrible fires, we will continue to support and stand with our 2,000 employees, 3.8 million REI members, and many philanthropic partners across the state.

On Friday, we’re paying every REI employee to spend time in the outdoors with their loved ones. This is the fourth year of #OptOutside, and since we started this tradition of closing our doors on Black Friday, we’ve seen millions of people join. In years past we’ve used that time to #OptOutside. This year, we know it’s not that simple in California, so please know that you’re in our hearts.

I wish you a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving.

My best wishes,