Charity Works: LuisaViaRoma Raises 4 Million Euros for UNICEF in St Barths + More News

A monthly roundup of footwear brands and retailers that are participating in charitable causes. Share your news with us at web@footwearnews.com.

Big Initiatives December 2021

Dec. 30, 2021: LuisaViaRoma hosted the fifth edition of its charity event benefiting UNICEF on Wednesday, Dec. 29. For the Italian retailer’s very first winter edition, the event was held in the Eden Rock of St Barths. The unforgettable night featured a cocktail reception, a gala dinner, a live auction of exclusive items, artwork and experiences conducted by Michael Macaulay of Sotheby’s, and a special performance by multiple Grammy-winning artist Dua Lipa. International celebrities, philanthropists and notable guests from all over the world attended the night and helped raise more than 4 million euros to support UNICEF’s work in providing care and protection to vulnerable children across the globe. The event was hosted by Luisa Panconesi, president of LuisaViaRoma’s event committee; Kieran O’Brien, global philanthropy manager at UNICEF; Tommaso Chiabra fundraising chairman of UNICEF Italia; and the event’s founding partner, the London-based skincare company Augustinus Bader.

Dec. 28, 2021: Dick’s Sporting Goods is partnering with the local Pueblo County’s Sheriff’s Office in Colorado to help provide sports balls to community youth. Via the new program dubbed “PCSO On the Ball,” deputies will hand out soccer balls, footballs and basketballs provided by Dick’s when they encounter young people during patrol. “Sports and recreation are great ways for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office to connect with our youth,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor in a statement. “So often a kid’s first interaction with law enforcement comes during crisis or a negative situation. This program gives our deputies the opportunity to interact with kids in a positive, healthy way. We hope this type of interaction will lead to ongoing, positive relationships long into the future.”

Dec. 27, 2021: As part of its 2021 Teacher of the Year contest, Rack Room Shoes is awarding five teachers across the U.S. a $10,000 grant each for technology upgrades for their school as well as a $500 Rack Room Shoes gift card. Five teachers were selected from 399 nominations of teachers who had a positive impact in the lives of children. Rack Room Shoes is delivering the five grants to the winning recipients throughout December.

Dec. 22, 2021: Through Academy Sports + Outdoors “Traveling Santa” initiative, the retailers identified individuals and families doing their holiday shopping in-store at their local Academy and surprised them by helping pay for their holiday gifts. This season, the company has donated more that $400,00 to its local community. The grassroots events also included in-store shopping sprees, bike donations and other giveback initiatives in 50 cities across Academy’s footprint. The events focused on giving back to first responders and children by donating to local chapters of the National Police Athletic League, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters and additional non-profits. In addition, Academy partnered with the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, the San Antonio Spurs and Austin FC, along with various Minor League Baseball teams and professional soccer clubs, to inspire the next generation of athletes.

Dec. 17, 2021: DTLR announced it has presented $100,000 to several nonprofits this month that identified families in need in five cities. According to DTLR, the funds were donated by the retailer and Adidas, and given to 100 families in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. DTLR said 20 families in each city received a $1,000 Visa gift for a holiday shopping spree.

The selected nonprofits were The Pinky Cole Foundation in Atlanta, Think Outside Da Block in Chicago, T.E.E.S. in Miami, Down North Pizza in Philadelphia and Be The Village in Washington, D.C.

“Caring for community members in need is a core part of our DNA at DTLR, and we want to ensure we are doing what we can to help those in the areas we serve this holiday season,” DTLR director of community outreach Tremayne Lipscomb said in a statement. “Our goal is to empower community members and show our support for them, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused hardship for so many.”

Dec. 16, 2021: With the help of over 20 non-profit partners, Vans was able to commemorate the third-annual Vans Checkerboard Day on Nov. 18 by encouraging more than 18,000 fans to leverage creative self-expression to better our communities around the world through events and activities across art, action sports, music, and film. To further this mission to drive positive change, more than $1 million was donated by Vans and The Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation, to 15 regional charities and global partner dosomething.org to support the mission of revitalizing communities around the world.

This year’s global partners were GoodPush, Groundswell, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Colectivo Tomate, Nations Skate Youth, Dignity for Children, Another Way of Seeing, ArtDream, Skateboard Academy, Hackney Bumps, Juju Surf Club, Indigo Youth Movement, Girls in Film, Jukebox Collective and The Hub. Each of the 15 regional partners received $50,000 from The Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation or via a direct donation from Vans to continue their impact. Vans also donated $250,000 to its global partner DoSomething.org, with $25,000 going toward scholarships.

“Now almost two years into a global pandemic, community connectivity and public spaces have been in direct need of support,” said Doug Palladini, Vans global brand president, in a statement. “As a brand that champions the power of creativity, it was important for us to utilize our third annual Vans Checkerboard Day as not just our biggest philanthropic moment of the year but to proactively take action through creative endeavors that drive positive change all around us.”

Dec. 15, 2021: The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will commit $2 million to support scholarships for Black, African and African American students, including those at Morehouse College, Spelman College and 10 additional historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) over a five-year period. those institutions will be selected using criteria including current unmet funding needs, enrollment rates, proximity to Ralph Lauren Corporation’s U.S. operation centers and institutions that have disciplines and curricula that foster careers in the retail industry. Plus, each scholarship will encourage community service participation.

“Students represent the best of the human spirit – passion, curiosity and boundless dreams,” said Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation. “When all students have an equal chance to succeed, their dreams become realities and inspire us all.”

As a part of Ralph Lauren Corporation’s Global Citizenship & Sustainability goals and its commitment to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture, the company’s work with HBCUs also includes facilitating career pathways for Black talent through internship, recruitment, mentorship and development programs – efforts that are deepening as partnerships with educational institutions and external organizations evolve.

Dec. 10, 2021: Global youth-focused charity Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Foot Locker Inc. — through the Foot Locker Foundation — have teamed up on a multicountry initiative to support underserved communities by addressing health, wealth and opportunity gaps. In a statement, Foot Locker said a Community Empowerment Program will provide grants that start at $20,000 over the next year to organizations that offer services for today’s youth. These services, according to a statement, include “sports-based youth development, health and wellness, education and life skills support, mentoring and workforce development.” The two will work with organizations in nine metropolitan areas in Europe and Canada, and aside from the grants, Foot Locker store team members in the target cities will help bring the programming to life through in-store learning opportunities, community clean-ups, mentoring and more. The grant application process — which can be accessed via Laureus.com/community-empowerment-program — is now open, and will close on Jan. 17, 2021. Grants are eligible in LondonParisMarseilleBarcelonaMilan and Rotterdam, and in Canada they are available in TorontoMontreal and Vancouver.

“Inspiring and empowering youth culture is more than just a purpose statement; it is at the core of who we are,” Foot Locker chairman and CEO Dick Johnson said in a statement. “We are committed to driving meaningful change in communities that have been overlooked for too long. Today’s announcement expands our efforts globally and helps us create more opportunity today that will lead to a stronger and more equitable future for the next generation.”

Dec. 7, 2021: StockX has teamed up with Halo and Swarovski for “Campaign for a Cause,” which will benefit Gamers Outreach, a charity that empowers hospitalized families through video game play. From Dec. 9-13, consumers on StockX can donate $10 for a chance to win exclusive Swarovski crystal collectibles that were made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Halo, as well as the upcoming launch of Halo Infinite. StockX revealed via statement that Swarovski recreated Master Chief’s Mjolnir helmet, which is made from a singular piece of crystal featuring 140 facets, as well as the Energy Sword made with 204 facets from 13 different cut crystal pieces and two polished steel tips. There will be 20 sets of the Crystal Helmet and Energy Sword released.

Donations can be made via Stockx.com/lp/swarovski-halo.

“More and more, we’re seeing legacy brands leveraging collaborations with platforms like ours as a means by which to appeal to the current culture consumer,” StockX CMO Deena Bahri said in a statement. “The worlds of traditional luxury, hype style, and youth culture are increasingly interconnected, and we’re proud to be able to leverage this phenomenon to provide access to a one-of-a-kind product for a good cause.”

Big Initiatives November 2021

Nov. 23, 2021: To ring in the holidays, Zappos is launching its Santa Line for the second year in a row. The retailer will offer 1,000 virtual 10-minute visits with Santa from December 11-23, for those whose children can’t meet him at nearby malls. The free visits can be reserved on Zappos’ homepage—and the retailer will donate $5 from each booked session to the Salvation Army Southern Nevada.

To make Giving Tuesday on November 30, the retailer is also launching its Goods for Good campaign, which highlights 30 brands that give back to various causes in a gift guide. Soles4Souls will receive $5 for every net item purchased, totaling up to $20,000. Zappos will also be supporting Wilderdog in a Giving Tuesday Instagram contest where customers can nominate their favorite animal shelter for the month of December. The brand will donate $10,000 in pet products to the winning shelter, as well as conducting product drives and donations for the Nevada shelters Hearts Alive Village, National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Foundation.

Nov. 17, 2021: With Giving Tuesday quickly approaching, scheduled for Nov. 30, Keen announced it has entered into a partnership with nonprofit Points of Light that will not only give people access to its Keen Corps loyalty program, but will also include the launch of a digital hub for volunteering and community engagement opportunities. This hub, according to Keen, will offer people more than 300,000 opportunities with more than 70,000 nonprofit organizations, schools and other local agencies each year.

Keen also announced its Giving Tuesday 10K Invitational, which was created to encourage people to generate 10,000 hours of volunteering this December. The brand said in a statement that it will donate up to $100,000 and footwear to food banks across the country as part of its commitment to this program.

Since its launch stateside in September, Keen said Keen Corps has grown to more than 11,000 members and is experiencing 5% weekly growth. Also, the brand said more than 6,600 volunteer hours have been logged.

“Our recent data confirms consumers are exhausted and are looking for ways to relieve stress and feel in control in these unpredictable times,” Keen Effect VP Erik Burbank said in a statement. “Volunteering in our communities has the dual benefit of giving back and leaving us feeling more fulfilled, empowered and happy. On Giving Tuesday, the greatest gift we can give is our time.”

Nov. 16, 2021: Hibbett, Inc has partnered with Nike to award 10 high school girls’ basketball programs across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oklahoma $10,000 each. The donation is a part of the Support Her Sole campaign, which launched earlier this year as a means to empower young female athletes and students. “We could not be prouder to partner with Nike to award Support Her Sole donations to these ten teams,” said Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP Marketing, Hibbett. “We hope the funds help make a difference for these students so they can pursue their dreams in education and athletics and compete at the highest level in the upcoming season.”

Nov. 16, 2021: Rack Room Shoes teamed up with the Lifetime TV show “Military Makeover With Montel” to give one family in Charlotte, N.C., a big surprise. Military veterans Joey and Joy Pryor and their daughter, Gia, were sent on a shopping spree at their local Rack Room Shoes store, while the TV show’s construction crew worked on repairs to their home. The family picked up Birkenstock clogs and Brooks running shoes (for Joy), Columbia boots (for Joey) and Nike sneakers (for Gia). In addition to the shopping spree, Joy and Joey were each given a $500 gift card to Rack Room to use for future purchases. Their “Military Makeover” episode will air this Friday, Nov. 19, on Lifetime TV, as well as on Thursday, Nov. 25.

Nov. 9, 2021: Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation will take “The Giving Truck” to eight cities across six states in the western U.S. as part of the fourth #GiftOfSportTour. On this tour, the company said via announcement that it will provide 10,000 sports equipment gifts to children from under-resourced communities. The stops include Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Denver. What’s more, DSG will have help from professional athletes along the way, including Kyle Juszczyk, Anfernee Simons, Te’a Cooper and A’ja Wilson, who will surprise kids at select stops. The Dick’s Foundation has pre-selected youth athletes from sports organizations to distribute the gifts to, and its partner Good Sports has pre-packed bags for each child at the organizations to ensure each athlete has their own equipment. Also, a DSG-brand sports bra will be included in each female bag as part of the foundation’s  commitment to donate 100,000 sports bras to youth athletes in under-resourced communities. 

“At this time last year, we were embarking on our first-ever Sports Matter Giving Truck Tour,” The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation executive director Aimee Watters said in a statement. “Since last December, the Giving Truck has provided 35,000 gifts in 23 cities across the U.S. We’re thrilled to be hitting the road again to provide kids with the equipment they need to keep playing the sports they love.”

Dick's Sporting Goods The Giving Truck
Dick’s Sporting Goods will bring The Giving Truck to major cities as part of the #GiftOfSportTour.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Nov. 8, 2021: Ryka is partnering with the non-profit organization Futures Without Violence. They are now amplifying their voices through their new partnership. Futures Without Violence is dedicated to preventing domestic violence and sexual assault as well as supporting survivors. Ryka customers will now have the option to add a donation when shopping on Ryka.com to help the Futures Without Violence mission. This partnership will be the first of many initiatives in which Ryka will provide monetary and product donations to the organization.

Nov. 8, 2021: Actively Black announced that through their partnership with Kick’n It For A Cause, they will donate one pair of sneakers to a child in Africa for each pair sold. The unisex sneakers come in two color ways of all black or black with white midsoles and retail for $100 USD. Former pro basketball player Lanny Smith has said he launched the brand in 2020 to uplift Black people and create real and meaningful change, with the mission to reinvest dollars into Black communities around the world.

Nov. 3, 2021: Canada Goose announced today that it will donate $150,000 to the National Inuit Youth Council, an organization that addresses the issues of interest for Canada’s Inuit youth. The company said in a statement that the funds were contributed by its employees and will be directed by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national representational organization for Inuit, as well as the National Inuit Youth Council to programs and initiatives where it will make a significant impact.

“On behalf of the National Inuit Youth Council, I am honored to receive these funds, which will help us engage with Inuit youth in Canada,” National Inuit Youth Council president Brian Pottle said in a statement. “NIYC works hard to ensure that our voices are represented and heard at leadership tables and that the messages that we carry are reflective of the lived experiences of young Inuit across Canada. We value the partnership Canada Goose and ITK have built and feel fortunate to have been recognized by Canada Goose employees in this way.”

Big Initiatives October 2021

Oct. 28, 2021: In honor of National Adoption Month happening in November, Seecaas and Duck Dynasty star Jessica Robertson have teamed up on a capsule collection to benefit families and individuals going through the adoption process. The collection, which launches mid-November, will feature six new colorways of flats, with a portion of proceeds from all sales being donated to Seecaas’ Hope for Adoption Foundation. Through the organization, the brand awards two grants per year to assist people with the cost of their adoptions. (Both the owner of Seecaas, Ashley Hensley, and Robertson have faced their own financial difficulties while adopting.)

Oct. 20, 2021: StockX has launched “Campaign for a Cause” in partnership with Adidas and Xbox to benefit Gamers Outreach, a charity that aims to empower hospitalized families through playing video games. For this effort, StockX is offering customers a chance to win the Adidas Originals by Xbox sneaker, dubbed the Xbox 20th Forum Tech, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of Xbox. The look features translucent green details that StockX said are inspired by the special-edition release of the original Xbox console for the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001. To enter, people can donate $10 via a landing page on StockX.com. The initiative will take place from Oct. 21 at 12 p.m. ET to Oct. 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

“We’re seeing more StockX customers favor products and brands that have a presence in both the digital and physical worlds, and this collaboration between adidas and Xbox not only appeals to that preference but also speaks to the convergence of fashion and gaming culture more broadly,” StockX VP of cultural marketing Tom Woodger said in a statement. “Through this partnership, we’re unlocking access for the values-driven, next gen consumers fueling this shift and giving them the opportunity to donate to a more than worthy cause in Gamers Outreach.”

Oct. 5, 2021: REI Co-op has launched the REI Cooperative Action Fund, which allow co-op members, employees and the public to contribute and provide financial support to a nationwide network of nonprofit organizations focused on justice, equity and belonging in the outdoors. Initially, REI said the fund will invest $1 million in 19 nonprofits that are aligned with this mission, and as more people contribute, it will scale the investment. The REI Cooperative Action Fund will focus on three grantmaking initiatives: connecting more people outside, creating more space outside and centering health outside. It will be led by its own board of directors and will be supported a dedicated staff and compensated community advisors. REI stated it will pay the full salary of every staff member and provide compensation for community advisors and board members to start to “ensure that 100% of donations from the general public to the fund are invested in organizations promoting justice, equity and inclusion in the outdoors.” Also, REI said it will wind down its private charity, the REI Foundation, in the coming years and direct its $6 million to the REI Cooperative Action Fund.

Oct. 1, 2021: Michael Kors launched its Watch Hunger Stop 2021 product capsule. Launched by the brand in 2013, Watch Hunger Stop supports the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in its mission to achieve Zero Hunger and provide school meals to children in food-insecure areas. This year’s collection includes a black T-shirt, hat and mask. A red heart patch spelling out the word LOVE, introduced in last year’s capsule, appears on the T-shirt sleeve, while the WFP logo in white is printed on the back, and both patches are featured on the hat and mask. The T-shirt retails at $40, the hat is $68 and the mask is $24. For every LOVE t-shirt, hat or mask sold, Michael Kors will donate all profits to children in need through the World Food Programme.

Big Initiatives in September 2021

Sept. 15, 2021: Neous is honoring the beauty of uniqueness with a new campaign featuring a charitable component. The beloved brand and its founder and creative director, Vanissa Antonious, launched a special project for September titled the “We Are Human” campaign. The endeavor taps a wide range of models to show off the diversity of the communities that surround us, celebrating the connectivity we can find within our differences. The campaign also introduces a limited-edition take on the brand’s signature Phinia ballet flat branded with the project’s title across the heel. All proceeds from the limited-edition “We Are Human” flat will go towards Blueprint for All (Formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust); the organization works with children and communities across the world to create inclusive and safe environments. The “We Are Human” Phinia design is now available to shop for $524 at Neous.com.

Sept. 15, 2021: Birdies announced a partnership with emergency preparedness company, JUDY to create a limited-edition capsule. Timed for September’s National Preparedness Month and inspired by the statistic that 60 percent of Americans have no plan in place when faced with an emergency, the two brands joined forces to raise awareness of the importance of preparing for any situation. With each sale from the new collection, a 10 percent code will be provided to go toward the JUDY emergency kit of the customer’s choice to help build their home safety system. Birdies is also donating $10K to the American Red Cross to help support disaster relief efforts in communities across the country as part of the collaboration. The two new shoe styles are available on Birdies.com and retail for $120.

Sept. 7, 2021: As the school year kicks off, Rack Room Shoes is celebrating the most talented educators. Nominations are now open online for the retailer’s annual Teacher of the Year contest, which allows customers to say thank you to teachers who have made an impact on their lives. Between now and Oct. 8, parents, guardians, PTA members and other adults 18 and older are invited to submit a video or photo and a paragraph about why their nominee deserves recognition. A public voting period will take place Oct. 18-Nov. 5, and the winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 22. The top five vote-getters will receive free shoes for a year at Rack Room, and each of their schools will also receive a $10,000 grant to be used to toward technological upgrades.

Sept. 3, 2021: Sandal brand Hari Mari is supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September through a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Hari Mari plans to donate a minimum of $25,000 to the organization. The footwear label has been supporting the fight against childhood cancer since 2012 when it launched its Flops Fighting Cancer initiative, which includes donating 1% of all sales to support the cause. To donate, click here.

Sept. 2, 2021: Vionic and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have teamed up for the second year to raise awareness and fund critical research for pediatric cancers during September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the month, Vionic will ask consumers to donate at check-out in support of families and children. 100% of donations will be shared with  St. Jude and the PNOC Foundation, which was established by Vionic co-founder Bruce Campbell and his wife Allyn, to raise awareness and fund critical research for pediatric cancers. To learn more about supporting the cause, go to Vionicshoes.com/donate.

Sept. 1, 2021: Sarah Flint has partnered with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation for the #BeKind21 campaign, which encourages the public to practice an act of kindness from Sept. 1-21. The goal is to strengthen connections that foster mental wellness. They’re asking the public to join the Foundation’s community, which will provide access to kindness calendars, tips and inspiration from the Foundation’s co-founders and partners. Participants will have the opportunity to be featured on the Foundation’s youth storytelling platform ChannelKindness.org. As part of these initiatives, Sarah Flint will donate 500 pairs of shoes to Born This Way Foundation, for distribution to nonprofits. And 100% of proceeds from The Starry Natalie shoe, which is inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night, will benefit Born This Way Foundation following its launch on Sept. 12.

Big Initiatives in August 2021

Aug. 31, 2021: Amazon Prime Video has teamed up with Shoes That Fit to deliver new sneakers to grammar and middle school students in need across the country, in conjunction with its newest film, Cinderella. The project will see the online retailer bring boxes of shoes and school supplies to 11 different schools for over 5,000 children in cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and more. “The simple gift of a pair of new shoes can increase a child’s confidence, and aid in improving their attendance and participation at school,” said Amy Fass, Shoes That Fit’s CEO, in a statement.

Aug. 27, 2021: Foot Locker Atlanta and rapper Lil Baby teamed up to renovate a basketball court in Oakland City, Atlanta, the neighborhood that the artist grew up in. The new white and blue court features logos from Foot Locker, 4PF (the rapper’s record label) and Lil Baby. The rapper gave away over 200 bicycles to kids during the unveiling of the court, which is meant to be a spot for community gathering and future activations with Foot Locker and Lil Baby.

Aug. 26, 2021: BOBS from Skechers has released its latest charitable collection on National Dog Day to save and support shelter pets. The line, which retails from $29 to $49, features casual T-shirts, bike shorts, hoodies and sneakers — as well as coordinating dog beds and matching collars — in lighthearted paw, dog and tie-dye prints. A portion of all sales will benefit animals in need. BOBS has partnered with nonprofit Petco Love and raised over $7 million over the last five years, supporting over 1.3 dogs, cats and other animals through pet adoptions and care at nurseries and medical facilities.

Aug. 20, 2021: Famous Footwear announced that it has raised $4 million for the Ticket to Dream Foundation, its national charity partner since last summer. The money, which will support foster youth across the country, was raised was from in-store donations made by customers across the U.S. Famous Footwear has also donated over $600,000 in product during the back-to-school season and $1.7 million in product since August of 2020.

Aug. 20, 2021: Del Toro took inspiration from a tennis ball in a new collection that supports youths. The brand released a limited-edition, neon felt shoe capsule featuring the Milano Loafer and Chukka styles. Del Toro will donate 25% of all proceeds from the collection to ARF, the Andy Roddick Foundation — an organization founded by the tennis star that’s dedicated to providing after-school programs, family services and mental health tools for young people.

Aug. 5, 2021: Foot Locker in Europe announced a new program that will offer grants to young creators in Europe. The Young Creators Grant includes €15,000 to fund new works for artists and designers as they head back to school. The grant is made possible via a partnership with Creative Debuts and is limited to creatives who work in the realm of sneakers and sneaker youth culture.

Big Initiatives in July 2021

July 27, 2021: Skechers has reached a new milestone when it comes to its give back initiatives. The footwear brand has surpassed $7 million in donations to save and support over 1.3 million shelter animals in the U.S. and in Canada through its BOBS from Skechers movement. In partnership with Petco love, Skechers has helped save the lives of over 955,000 dogs, cats and other animals. Skechers has also contributed to the care of over 395,000 additional animals.

July 26, 2021: Saucony has announced its latest initiative from its Run For Good Foundation philanthropic platform, which will raise money for several children’s hospitals. The brand has teamed up with four hospitals — Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans — for an effort that will yield limited-edition footwear and apparel ranges created with help from young patients. The footwear and apparel, according to Saucony, expresses their personal stories, and 20% of every sale will be donated to the hospitals or their designated charity, for a collective minimum donation of $200,000. The lineup includes both performance and lifestyle looks, such as the road-ready Kinvara 12 and Ride 14, its pinnacle Endorphin collection and the stylish Jazz Court. The sneakers, which will drop in unisex sizing, arrive via Saucony.com on Aug. 6. Pricing will range from $90 to $200.

July 20, 2021: DTLR has awarded $40,000 in scholarships to the retailer’s employees. The company was able award the scholarships through its annual Employee Scholarship Program — with the funds going to the 2021-2022 school year. To be considered, employees must maintain a 2.5 average GPA and demonstrate leadership qualities and participate in community activities. Of the program, Tremayne Lipscomb, Community Outreach Director at DTLR Tremayne Lipscomb said: “TLR values each and every employee, and we are beyond proud to have established a scholarship program that helps assist our employees who are planning to continue their education.”

July 1, 2021: Emerging sockwear brand Cicada offers festive dress socks that not only feature designs inspired by social and environmental issues, but also benefit charity. For every pair of socks sold from the brand’s Global Warming, Poaching (referring to the illegal hunting of endangered animals) and Ocean Waste collections, $1 will be donated to relevant non-profit organizations. Available for men and women, the styles are made of 100% organic cotton and packaged in recycled paper and sustainable material to help protect the planet.

Big Initiatives in June 2021

June 25, 2021: WSS is again partnering with The WeLoveU Foundation — this time for a large-scale LA River cleanup on June 27 at Atwater Park. The cleanup is a group effort between the charitable group and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Council Member Mitch O’Farrell. About 300 volunteers are expected to participate. The WeLoveU Foundation is an international NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications [UN DGC].  It leads the humanitarian activities through the “Save the World” project, aiming for a healthier earth and a brighter future. WSS has partnered with the foundation on several past community givebacks, such as the LA Blood Drive at the Banc of California and the Dallas Blood Drive, hosted at AT&T Stadium.

Big Initiatives in May 2021

May 27, 2021: Nordstrom is stepping up for the LGBTQ+ community. The retailer is providing a grant to the Trans Lifeline x FOLX Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Care Fund to support transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals who are struggling to access hormone care. This fund will underwrite their choice of Hormone Replacement Therapy care through FOLX, with 75% of funds reserved for Black and Indigenous people, and people of color. Additionally, Nordstrom will be spotlighting brands founded or designed by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

May 27, 2021: Mizuno has unveiled its latest footwear style ahead of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race: the Peachtree 52nd Wave Rider running shoe. Taking inspiration from the Constitution, the silhouette, which retails for $135, is covered in quotes and finished with a red, white and blue colorway. In addition to the shoe, which is the label’s seventh limited-edition shoe produced specifically for this race, Mizuno has joined forces with three Atlanta-based nonprofits: the National Center for Civil and Humans Rights, Equality Foundation of Georgia and Shepherd Center, to further conversations around diversity, equality and inclusion – and produced custom t-shirt designs for all three organizations.

May 25, 2021: Hibbett Sports and Nike have partnered up to award three girls’ basketball programs in Birmingham, Alabama, Decatur, Georgia and Ridgeland, Mississippi with $5,000 each for their upcoming season. The teams are, Birmingham’s Huffman High School, Lady Vikings, Mississippi’s Ridgeland High School, Lady Titans and Decatur’s Southwest DeKalb High School, Panthers. Of the donation, Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP Marketing, Hibbett Sports said: “We believe both education and athletics help empower young women to succeed in the future and in partnership with Nike these donations will help three top performing basketball teams continue to thrive during their next season.”

May 18, 2021: In honor of National Rescue Dog Day on May 20, Skechers is donating to Petco Love with every purchase of its Bobs from Skechers line of animal inspired shoes, apparels and accessories. The collection includes new slip-on Beach Bingo styles that are adorned with graphics of dogs and cats. Through its charity collection, Skechers has contributed more than $6.6 million to help save and support over one million shelter dogs and cats in the U.S. and in Canada. Additionally, Skechers is joining forces boxer Sugar Ray Leonard to continue the work for animals in need.  “I’m very grateful for the unconditional love that my rescue dog, Luna, shows me every day. She brings me so much joy and giving her a second chance at life has made my life even more fulfilling. I’m proud to work with Bobs from Skechers this National Rescue Day on their mission to help save shelter pets in need,” Leonard said.

May 17, 2021: Veja has teamed up with non-profit A Second U Foundation for a New York-based running club. A Second U Foundation is an organization that that gives formerly incarcerated people a second chance by training them for jobs in the fitness industry so they aren’t defined by their sentence or their charge. Their trainers will lead the Veja-sponsored running club, which officially launched over the weekend in New York City. The club is free of charge for participants. This is just one aspect of Veja’s work with various non-profits. The brand has promoted community integration by entrusting its logistics to Ateliers Sans Frontières — a non-profit that helps vulnerable individuals find jobs and regain social stability — for the last 15 years. Veja now works with Log-in’s, which provides differently-abled people with guidance to place and keep them in stable occupations.

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.”

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.

Hari Mari Infusion Center
Hari Mari Infusion Center.
CREDIT: Hari Mari

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.

Trevor Lawrence, Adidas, NFTs
Trevor Lawrence x Adidas NFTs
CREDIT: adidas

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.

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