March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: A Letter From Our CEO

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a month that is near and dear to the heart of Toad. In 1996 (back when we were still Horny Toadmore on that here), we partnered with Search, Inc. to co-found the Planet Access Company, a warehouse that trains and employs people with developmental disabilities.

Here’s more from our CEO Gordon on why March is such a special month for us:

Back in the 90’s, the outdoor industry was fully vested in saving the planet and responsible environmental business practices, but no one was connecting the first “P” of  triple bottom line business (People, Planet, Profit): PEOPLE. I wanted Toad&Co to lead that charge and add a meaningful people dimension to the industry’s responsibility ethos.

Enter Search, Inc.— a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of people with disabilities. They had a novel idea to build a social enterprise partnership between a non-profit organization (them) and for-profit company (us). I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to connect these eager individuals to the larger economy. That’s when Toad&Co and Search co-created the Planet Access Company (PAC), a state-of-the-art logistical warehouse with a mission to train and employ adults with disabilities to foster independence and pride.

Since its establishment in 1996, Planet Access Company has trained over 700 individuals with developmental disabilities, processed hundreds of thousands of products, and shipped to retailers and customers all over the world. In addition to handling warehouse logistics for other brands, 100% of Toad&Co products are picked, packed and shipped with unmatched reliability and service by the PAC work crew. Without a doubt, it is the single greatest source of pride for both Search, Inc and Toad&Co.

As Toad&Co sales grow, so do the opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities by spawning other programs born from this partnership. The proceeds from PAC have funded a travel program for people with disabilities, disability awareness training for businesses, a retail store for additional vocational training, and a visual arts program.

When we forged this unorthodox relationship, our goal was to prove that a for-profit/not-for-profit enterprise could be done with grace, mutual benefit, and meaningful impact. We are happy to say that we exceeded even our wildest dreams. Now, we look to focus our energy and resources to expanding our efforts and inspiring other organizations to follow suit.

So thank you for being a part of our mission. A portion of every Toad&Co purchase goes toward creating meaningful change in the world. We couldn’t do it without you. 

In gratitude,

Gordon

Gordon Seabury, CEO Toad&Co 

A portion of every Toad&Co sale creates opportunities for adults with disabilities. This month, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and every month. You shop, we give.