Gear Forward

If you are passionate about the outdoors, please read! I promise you it will tug your heartstrings.

I am super excited to announce I have been accepted as Illinois Ambassador for Gear Forward. 

Gear Forward is a non-profit organization that accepts and distributes new and used outdoor gear donations to help outfit children and teens with appropriate supplies to ensure positive camping and backpacking experiences as well as building self-esteem, encouraging friendships and creating memories. Camping, hiking and backpacking changed MY life. It has become a passion I never knew I would come to love so much, and to be able to help a child in need – to expose them to outdoor experiences I didn’t have at a young age is what drives me to try as hard as I can.

The founder of this wonderful cause shared some stories with me that fueled me with the desire to help. He has witnessed young children on Scouts outings carrying the comforter off of their own bed from home in a trash bag to use on camping trips. A lot of times, their families cannot afford to buy new sleeping bags, tents or backpacks to send with them. 

This is where Scott came up with the idea of “gearing forward”, going through his own stash of belongings, much of it unused, and giving back to the next generation of outdoorsmen and women. 

We know how important conservation education is, and how incredibly necessary it is to spread awareness of LNT principles. It is our job as Earth and nature lovers to make sure we encourage and educate young people! 

My goal is to not only spread the word here in the Midwest, but make connections and reach out to as many people as I can not only in the state of Illinois, but the US by corresponding with troop leaders, youth groups, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, scouts and outdoor retail shops to find out who needs what, and where. 

Surprisingly, getting donations isn’t the hard part. It’s finding people to give to. It seems a lot of organizations don’t want to reach out for help – if you’re in need, please inquire! 

Do you organize camping trips for kids? Are you or any of your local groups in need of outdoor gear for outings? Is there anything I can help you with?! Please let me know! I’m here to help!

If you don’t have gear to donate but want to help or contribute, we have other options!

Aside from merchandise (all profits from sales  go toward gear purchase to donate!), we accept gift cards from outdoor retailers. New or used! Even if you have only $2.39 left on your own gift card, we will utilize it! 

Check out for more information and to view my Ambassador profile, like on Facebook for updates, and follow on Instagram @gear_forward to keep up with our progress! 
Jennifer Potts



3 Comments on “Gear Forward

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