MOSCOW, Idaho — Outdoor brands NRS and Chums launched a collaboration to benefit the Redside Foundation, an organization that supports the health and strength of the professional guiding community in Idaho and Montana.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. Professional guides face unique challenges, and the Redside Foundation serves the guiding community with a 24/7 confidential helpline, counseling, professional development grants, scholarships, an annual health fair, resiliency trainings, and community building.
The NRS x Chums collaboration, which includes T-shirts, trucker hats, wallets, and eyewear retainers, features beautiful artwork by Idaho guides Heidi Messner and Hannah Spencer with proceeds to benefit Redside Foundation and the guiding community.
“When we support each other by creating healthy relationships and mindsets, we begin to build our own toolbox to help build healthier foundations for ourselves and for the community we live in. Chums, NRS and Redside Foundation are doing just that; by paving the way to support the men and women who give endlessly to others and find themselves depleted at the end of their seasons. These organizations are holding our heads, hearts and hands for a brighter world,” said self-taught woodblock artist and fly-fishing guide Hannah Spencer.
“Being a guide, and having numerous friends and family in this line of work, we are exposed to the mental and physical challenges on a daily and yearly basis. I am extremely passionate about creating pieces of art that bring wonder, happiness and recharge memories of being in these natural places we all love and cherish. I am both proud and honored to be a part of creating mental illness awareness and want to show support for our loved ones in this community,” said self-taught acrylic artist, guide and outdoorswoman Heidi Messner.
“This collaboration is a beautiful testament to the guiding community. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the demand for our services increase 4-fold and we are on track to more than double the number of guides in counseling this year over last. We are humbled and honored by the support of NRS and Chums. This collaboration represents what it means for a community to come together to lift up those that need support,” said Shannon Walton, Redside Foundation executive director.
“It’s an honor to support the great work of the Redside Foundation. This collaboration sends a powerful message that prioritizing mental health is a sign of strength. It’s important that, as a tightly-knit outdoor community, we continue to support health and wellness initiatives, as well as organizations like the Redside Foundation,” said Ben Falkson, Chums marketing director.
“Guides are the heart and soul of the river community. They’re the ones people look to for strength, advice, safety, entertainment and a hundred other needs, big and small. Guides are brave, creative, and caring. They’re problem-solvers, used to supporting others. It’s important to remember that sometimes they need support, too. We’re happy we can help ensure that help is always available,” said Jenni Chaffin, NRS purchaser and Redside board member.
The collaboration is launching in conjunction with the Idaho River Rendezvous, an annual event held in Stanley, Idaho, dedicated to the health, education, and sustainability of Idaho River recreational communities. Products will be available beginning Tuesday, May 24, through the NRS and Chums websites.
About Redside Foundation
The Redside Foundation is an Idaho based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of supporting the health and strength of the professional outdoor guiding community. Redside pursues this mission through a focus on guide health, education and professional development opportunities, and community building. To learn more, visit www.redsidefoundation.org.
100% employee-owned, NRS is the world’s leading supplier of equipment and apparel for water recreation, safety and rescue. Founded in 1972 with a vision to create a better kind of company, NRS is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of its customers, employees and community. To learn more, visit www.nrs.com, email the company at [email protected] or call 877.677.4327.
Founded on the Colorado River in 1983, Chums is about the guides, dirtbags, river rats, and weekend warriors. Our community is the early risers and go-getters dedicated to everything from chasing trout in faraway lands to brewing the perfect cup of camp coffee deep in the backcountry. A family-run business committed to US-based manufacturing and world-class customer service, Chums produces innovative outdoor products built for adventure. To learn more, visit www.chums.com.