NEW YORK — Crocs Inc. announced Wednesday that in conjunction with its charity organization, SolesUnited, and NBA star Charlie Villanueva, the company is donating 10,000 pairs of Crocs shoes to impoverished children in the Dominican Republic.
The donation marks the first large-scale initiative to aid Dominican children through Tenis Para Ninos, or “Sneakers for Children,” a program developed by The Charlie Villanueva Foundation, according to a statement from Crocs released Wednesday. More than 42 percent of the Dominican population lives in poverty, the statement said.
“I have witnessed first-hand the widespread desolate conditions in the Dominican Republic,” said Villanueva in the statement. “Few Americans realize many Dominican people have never owned shoes before, so the simple act of providing them with quality Crocs footwear is invaluable. It is my hope that this benevolent partnership with SolesUnited will only continue to grow with the support of my fellow NBA players moving forward.”
Kicking off tomorrow and running through Aug. 31, the shoes will go to children in schools and orphanages in Puerto Plata, Cabrera and Santiago. Along with the shoe giveaway, Feed the Children and Unicef will be in attendance giving additional aid.