A monthly roundup of footwear brands and retailers that are participating in charitable causes. Share your news with us at email@example.com.
May 13, 2021: L.L.Bean has announced plans to invest $6 million in a variety of national and local nonprofits focused on increasing access to the outdoors for all. Through a new two-year partnership, the retailer will work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to expand its sports and recreation programming. It will also support the Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Community initiative; join forces with The Ecology School, OUT There Adventures and EqualityMaine Foundation; as well as invest in three new community projects with The Trust for Public Land. What’s more, amid AAPI Heritage Month, L.L.Bean will partner for the first time with the Cambodian Community Association of Maine and Unified Asian Communities — both based in the chain’s hometown of Maine. “If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the outdoors can have a remarkable impact on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” executive chairman Shawn Gorman said in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with these organizations to ensure that the restorative benefits of being outdoors is more accessible and as inclusive as possible.”
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May 11, 2021: Cook Children’s Medical Center has renamed its North Texas hospital’s infusion center after Hari Mari. The honor comes as the footwear brand has used a portion of its sales from its Hari Mari’s Flop Fighting Cancer initiative to fund treatment for pediatric oncology and hematology patients. “Since 2021, Cook Children’s has been proud to partner with Hari Mari and their Flops Fighting Cancer. As Hari Mari has grown, so too has our friendship with their incredible team,” said Grant Harris, Senior Vice President, Cook Children’s Health Foundation. Lila Stewart, Hari Mari’s co-founder echoed similar sentiments, expressing: “Hari Mari has had the distinct honor to work with the incredible leadership and staff at Cook Children’s to positively affect the lives of many brave kids battling to overcome cancer. Albeit a small part in the bigger picture of patient treatment, Hari Mari’s just so incredibly proud to know and have an association with so many heroes on both sides of that medical relationship — patient, parents, doctors and nurses alike.
May 5, 2021: Trevor Lawrence is giving back to those in need in Florida. After being drafted to the Jacksonville Jaguars and signing with Adidas, Lawrence and the sportswear giant have teamed up to release a set of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the net proceeds of initial sales going to charities that support the Jacksonville community. Lawrence and Adidas are releasing the NFTs on Thursday, May 6 from 7 a.m. PT to 7 p.m. PT in the form of 3D animated trading card collectibles. The NFTs will be available on Bitski at (bitski.com/adidas). There will be a one-of-one NFT as a live auction for 12 hours with a starting bid of $1,000 that includes a physical copy of the NFT and a pair of his first player-edition cleats, signed by the newest NFL star. Additionally, there will be an open edition NFT for sale at $100 at the same time of the live auction and allow anyone to purchase for one hour.
May 3, 2021: Naomi Osaka, Laureus Sport for Good and Nike are giving more young girls the opportunity to dream big. Today, Play Academy — a venture Osaka first launched in June 2020 — will be expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti. Play Academy will be partnering with GOALS Haiti to provide sports opportunities to underrepresented youth in the area. In Los Angeles, the program will provide grants to organizations that are focused on supporting Black, Asian and Latina girls.
Big Initiatives in April 2021
April 29, 2021: Skechers’ charitable collection Bobs from Skechers teamed up with Petco Love to recognize organizations around the country that have made it their mission to protect and save abandoned dogs and cats. The footwear brand and pet company provided the organizations with special grants and check celebrations in in Tampa Bay, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; Lansing, Michigan; and Wichita, Kansas. Through the Bobs from Skechers collection, Skechers has contributed more than $6.6 million to help more than 1.2 million shelter pets over the past five years.
April 29, 2021: Blake Krueger, chairman of the board, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., and country singer Brad Paisley have been named 2021 Father of the Year Honorees for the 79th annual Father of the Year Awards. Alongside Dr. Albert Bourla, CVM, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Pfizer, who will accept the award on behalf of all Pfizer employees, Krueger and Paisley will be honored at the virtual event on June 17 benefitting Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and Advocacy. For tickets and sponsorship, please contact the Council office at 212-594-5977 or www.fathersdaycouncil.org.
April 23, 2021: Non-profit Soles4Souls is continuing its mission to provide new athletic shoes to homeless children in the U.S., via a virtual fundraising race. Through the month of May, participants can sign up as an individual or as part of a team, here, and log miles while raising funds. So far the organization has raised almost $22,000. You can donate here.
April 23, 2021: BOBS From Skechers is celebrating pets and animals in honor of Adopt a Shelter Pet Day on April 30, Pet Month of May and National Rescue Dog Day on May 20. The brand donates to Petco Love with every purchase of its diverse collection BOBS shoes, apparel, and accessories, including new animal allover print footwear styles; you can purchase styles at Skechers.com.
Big Initiatives in March 2021
March 19, 2021: Keen Utility, the work boot division of Keen Inc., has introduced the new She Builds grant program, meant to support and inspire the next generation of tradeswomen. In its first year, the program aims to award $25,000 in cash and safety footwear to U.S. nonprofits that help women and girls gain access to trade skill training and networking. Nominations for the grants can be submitted online here, now through April 8. Robin Skilling, senior director of global marketing for Keen Utility, said in a statement, “We know there is a trade skill labor shortage, and we’re here to help the organizations who are closing this gap by advancing women in this important market.”
March 9, 2021: Designer Marion Parke is celebrating Women’s History Month by donating 10% of all online sales until Monday, March 15, to Dress for Success. The non-profit organization empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women succeed.
March 5, 2021: Smartwool has teamed up with the United Negro College Fund for a $25,000 scholarship program for the fall ’21 semester. Ten junior or senior students, who are currently enrolled full-time at an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), will be awarded $2,500 each. Eligible recipients must attend an HBCU located in Tennessee or North Carolina, which are home states to Smartwool’s sock development team and sock mills. The winners of the UNCF scholarships must demonstrate a passion for the outdoors and exemplify one of Smartwool’s core values, including openness, advocacy, action and inclusivity. “We thank Smartwool for this investment in HBCU students,” said Maurice E. Jenkins Jr., UNCF’s VP and chief development officer. “Diversity knows no boundaries when it comes to the outdoors and creating better futures for us all. We look forward to expanding this partnership.” The application opened on Monday, March 1, and will close on Wednesday, April 28.
Big Initiatives in February 2021
Feb. 25, 2021: The Kate Spade New York Foundation has announced a $25,000 donation to support Feeding Texas in the wake of last week’s deadly and devastating snow and ice storms. The food bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in the state and provides food, resources and assistance to more than 4 million Texans every year. “Our hearts go out to our colleagues, our communities and everyone in Texas affected by Winter Storm Uri,” Kate Spade New York CEO and brand president Liz Fraser said in a statement. “With millions of Texans left without power, clean water and in freezing temperatures, we hope this contribution will help to provide quick relief to the people who need it most. In these moments, compassion and kindness are critical, and we encourage those who are willing and able to check in on their neighbors during these unprecedented times.”
Feb. 16, 2021: Frye has launched a special spring collection with Feeding America and August Alsina. The footwear brand and R&B singer have partnered up to raise money for food banks in Alsina’s hometown of New Orleans. For every pair of Melissa and Bowery Boots sold in February, Frye is donating $10 to Feeding America to support food banks in New Orleans communities that are facing hunger and food insecurity. As part of the partnership, Alsina is featured in the brand’s spring 2021 campaign, which shows him in new sneakers and boots from the collection.