Charity Works: Vans Continues Stoked Partnership With New Community-Focused Initiatives + More

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

Jan. 13, 2022: Foot Locker, Inc. and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have come together in a joint effort to provide grant funding for nonprofit organizations focused on empowering young people in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. The joint Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program is a $3 million effort that draws on Foot Locker’s previously announced $200 million pledge towards its Leading Education and Economic Development (LEED) initiative and programs through LISC. This first round of $1.26 million in funding will go to 16 organizations, with another round planned for the spring.

Jan. 13, 2022: After ten years of partnership, Vans is expanding its work with Stoked, a community-focused nonprofit that aims to grow BIPOC participation and representation in action sport. According to Stoked, Vans is now sponsoring skate activations at Stoked’s NYC and Chicago sites, supporting the nonprofit’s after-school leadership development programs and weekend skateboarding/snowboarding/surfing programs, and encouraging its employees to serve as Stoked mentors through a “Career Pipeline” program that shows youth some of the career possibilities in the action sports world. Almost 30 Vans employees have already signed on to the “Career Pipeline” program, and Vans athletes have lent their support to Stoked as well — pro snowboarder Patrick Moore is a lead Stoked ambassador who’s recruited other Vans Snow team members like Jill Perkins, Bryan Iguchi, and Hana Beaman, which helped the nonprofit raise an additional $100,000 through its yearly fundraising campaign in 2021.

Jan. 7, 2022: Kohl’s has donated $100,000 to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. The donation is one part of a larger $8 million investment from Kohl’s to more than 150 non-profit organizations across the country, which awards different organizations grants between $10,000 and $100,000. “Receiving this grant is the fruit of a strong collaborative effort of several members of our Food Bank team working together to advance our mission and engage companies like Kohl’s in our hunger relief efforts,” said Victor A. Garcia, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

Jan. 7, 2022: After a series of tornadoes ripped through communities in Kentucky and Tennessee in early December, Rack Room Shoes has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help with recovery efforts in the affected communities. “The impact of the devastation will require long-term solutions, so I’m deeply humbled that we can assist the American Red Cross in providing aid to local children and families in need,” said Mark Lardie, president and CEO of Rack Room Shoes, which operates dozens of locations in Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. The company confirmed that all its associates and managers in those stores are safe.

Big Initiatives in 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 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 Grammy-winning artist Dua Lipa. International celebrities, philanthropists and notable guests 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.

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.”

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