By now, the majority of people in the Pacific Northwest and the world have heard, seen and been impacted by the horrible landslide near Oso, Washington. As the hillside came down, those of us in Washington who know the area and the people were numb. Such a disaster is beyond comprehension and despite the images on TV and online, the scale is unfathomable. An entire hillside came down.
The whole thing.
As the rescue and recovery operations got underway, tweets and posts on my timelines filled up with ways to help those impacted by the disaster. Like too many of us, I can only help so much, as writing and living in nature doesn’t pay enough to give large amounts to charity. I sat watching the devastation unfold, unable to do anything.
During this time, many of us also received a yearly gift from REI. REI, a Seattle based company and northwest outdoors icon, has members, and each year, members get a Membership Dividend. The Membership Dividend is your portion of the profits the company made, based on how much you spent at REI. It always comes as a welcome bonus. My Membership Dividend was pretty small this year, as I didn’t need much gear so I didn’t do much shopping. In fact, I will be honest; it was a whopping $19.
$19 isn’t a ton, especially at REI. Honestly, $19 of instore credit is something I don’t need, but the people of Oso, Washington need all the help they can get. That is when I decided to make it my quest to get REI to allow me to donate my Membership Dividend. I tweeted to @REI and asked a simple question, they responded as follows:
First off, thank you REI for the generous donation!
While I get that the REI Foundation is what they use, it seems like a local company could quickly figure out an easy and awesome way to help out their neighbor. To not include it as an option seems to be silly, as I imagine (and could be wrong) that it wouldn’t take that much paperwork or programing to set that up, especially in the name of disaster relief.
Now, to be fair, REI does have a system in place where you can request your Membership Dividend in check form. The form is easy to fill out and awesome, but from reliable sources we were told it takes a bit of time to actually get your check processed and mailed out. Also, why waste paper, a stamp and gas for something that could easily be automated?
Click here to request a check: https://www.rei.com/membership/request-a-check/
We need to help Oso before it fades from the headlines.
What we are asking is for REI to set up a system where members can donate their dividend immediately to the community of Oso. In fact, if they could set up a system where, after purchase, you could donate the remainder of you balance to Oso, which would be ideal. Every dollar helps, even my $19.
WANT TO DONATE TO OSO?
Tell REI that you want to give your dividend to the Community of Oso. If enough of us show interest, they will come up with a system.
Phone: From the U.S. and Canada call 1-800-426-4840 Monday through Sunday, 4 AM to 11 PM PST
REI.Com Email: http://www.rei.com/helpContacts#phone_tab
REI IS A MEMBER OWNED CO-OP. WE ALL HAVE A SAY, SO DO THE RIGHT THING!