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It all started a long time ago with Tom and one bag of potatoes. He knew of people in need in his neighborhood and wanted to help out. Tom started giving informally each year, helping to give food and clothes to those who couldn't afford them.
During this time, Zumiez was growing from a regional to a national player in action sports retailing. As the company grew, Tom saw that he could use its success to contribute on a bigger level. Zumiez started formally giving in 2002 by purchasing jackets, flannel shirts and blankets which were sent to 13 charitable organizations in Snohomish County, Washington.
Zumiez became a public company in the spring of 2005. Tom knew that he now had the ability to formalize and expand the giving by setting up a foundation. The Zumiez Foundation was legally established in the summer of 2005 as a private foundation and a separate company from Zumiez Inc.
In 2012 we donated over 180,000 items to more then 180 organizations in 21 states. The Zumiez Foundation reaches out to both cold and warm weather areas, helping more then 60,000 men, women and children.
It's all been about Tom's philosophy of business and life. We help our employees to become successful, which makes the company successful. This, in turn, allows us to use that success to help others and to develop our employees into community leaders on issues that matter to them. We build on our success. As Tom always says, it's about the leverage- creating it and using it for the benefit of others, and in the process, of ourselves.