One Year of Sistering Support

One year of Sistering Support

In April of 2021 SMH Training officially marked the one year anniversary of our Sistering Support program!🎉🎉🎉

In honor of that milestone, I wanted to share some information about how it’s gone, who we’ve helped, and why financial support and equity pricing are an important part of our business model.

 

First things first – what is Sistering Support?

"Sistering" is a construction term in which a post that's holding up too much weight is supported by additional posts on either side. This metaphor conveys what we're after: helping take some of the weight off those who are carrying a lot right now. Especially for BIPOC, queer, disabled, bigger bodies, and others who are underrepresented in the outdoor world.

Ideally, finances wouldn't keep anyone from health, movement, or outdoor time. And if we’re going to realize our goal of a more diverse outdoor recreation community – we have to work to make the opportunities to thrive in that scene available for as many people as possible. Financial support and equity pricing are one way of doing just that.

 

How did we do in the first year?

Since April 2020, by the numbers – here’s how our first year of offering Sistering Support went:

  • 46 individuals have applied for and been granted funding toward their Summer Strong or Ski Babes season
    • we were able to give all applicants at least partial funding! 
  • $6,113 has been distributed
  • The majority of these awards went to BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, queer, fat, aging, and individuals suffering from loss of income due to Covid-19.

We have also been contacted by three (and counting) other organizations who saw our Sistering Support model and have asked for permission to replicate it. We said YES (!!) and are excited that other businesses/orgs in the outdoor rec space are building equity practices into their business models too. 

 

Where does the funding come from?

In our first year, funding came from a combination of fundraising efforts (by-donation workouts, apparel orders, etc) and from donations from members of our Summer Strong and Ski Babes communities.

We offer the option to make a contribution to the Sistering Support fund when folks sign up to participate in Ski Babes & Summer Strong (you can donate here!). We’ve also had people voluntarily donate the refunds they could have received, discounts they would have gotten, and a variety of other creative contributions from members of our community.

Most recently, we’ve launched an apparel campaign that allows people to order custom Summer Strong clothing from our partners at Bonfire. These items are made to order and all profit goes straight into the Sistering Support fund. This campaign ends on August 6, 2021; shop our Black & White Logo and Colorful Logo options! 

 

What’s next?

We are proud of how successful this program has been & are excited for it to continue to grow! 

As our program and community expand, we hope that this fund and applications for it will grow too. As we spread the word about the opportunity for Sistering Support, we hope to contribute toward removing barriers of entry to folks whose identities are underrepresented in the outdoor recreation community, and create safer avenues for all to recreate outside.

I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our first-year success of Sistering Support. This community effort would not have been possible without the generous contributions of donors and the openness of applicants to ask for support when needed.

Thanks for reading and for making a program like this possible. I really believe that together we can make outdoor and recreational spaces equitable and inclusive! 

I'm looking forward to the coming year and seeing where this effort can go! 

 

-Sarah 

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