Elyse Kroll Rallies Fashion Industry to Donate 1,000 Gift Bags to NYC Nurses

Elyse Kroll, the founder and former CEO of ENK International, is doing her part to show gratitude to health-care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. And the not-for-profit effort — From Fashion, With Love — is getting support from the shoe industry.

For the past 22 days, the trade show exec has been working to assemble gift bags for the nurses who are volunteering in hard-hit New York as way to say thank you for their efforts.

“All I want to do I make them smile. They’ve done something I could never do, and they do it day after day and take that risk while all we are doing is isolating ourselves. It’s extraordinary,” Kroll said.

To get the initiative rolling, Kroll decided to tap her fashion contacts who would donate product for the gift bags. Her first call? Birkenstock Americas CEO David Kahan, who donated 2,300 pairs of socks and 500 of the brand’s eye creams.

Sam and Libby Edelman also showed their support, offering 500 of label’s sandals.

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“I wanted to include footwear to give these nurses something fresh and clean to step into when they come home from the hospital,” Kroll explained, adding athleisure, lingerie, sleepwear, socks, beauty and wellness goods are some of the items she’s looking for.

Other brands who stepped up have included Tommy Hilfiger, Century 21 stores, Rebecca Minkoff, Splendid, Reebok and more.

Kroll, along with volunteers and former ENK colleagues, will distribute 1,000 gift bags, which have been assembled by size for male and female, starting at the New Yorker Hotel this evening.

Though she’s reached her initial goal of 1,000 bags, her plan is to do more. “We will go wherever we have to go to next,” she said. “They are dealing with most god awful situation and this was the least and the most I could do. I’m so proud of every one who jumped in the fray. We are in a crisis and we’ll beat this together.”

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