Footwear Cares has launched – with a bang. Day one, I traveled to Indianapolis for the Finish Line mega-service event. I’m skeptical. C’mon, really? 900 employees packing 300,000 meals for deserving families in Indiana. In three hours? On the floor of the beautiful Bankers Trust Fieldhouse where the Pacers play? Yeah, right.
Holy Hoosier State Batman. By 9.45AM, 900 Finish Line employees and some assorted vendors including Macy’s all wearing the Two Ten / Footwear Cares t-shirt began their packing. The music is going. The teams are on fire. I go to every one of the 100 tables and say thanks. To say how deeply appreciative we are they’re taking some time to help people. To care. To do something good. To do something meaningful. And what do I hear back from every single person I meet? “Thank you.” One store manager said “this means the world to me. To give something back. That’s what it’s all about man.” How true. How inspiring.
In Boston, Geralyn Breig challenged her Clarks team and 105 employees volunteered with Cradles to Crayons, a charitable nonprofit dedicated to providing low-income and homeless children with essentials needed to thrive. After only two of four service days, employees prepared and packaged clothing, books and toys for 1,234 local children in need. Doing the right thing runs deep in Clarks’s DNA.
In Pennsylvania, Dansko employees – who will be working on a number of community services projects throughout the month – worked with Adopt-A-Highway to remove rubbish from some of the busiest highways in their region. What a great effort.
And in the Bronx, 12 footwear companies came together at the Food Bank for New York City today to package 23,693 meals for food insecure families. Over 17M American families can’t afford to put healthy food on the table, so this was such an important project. Many thanks to Camuto Group, Eastman Group, Footwear News, Fortune Footwear, Global Brands, Highline United, Kidshoeology.com, Lacoste Footwear, Macy’s, Pedi-Licious, Ralph Lauren and Schwartz & Benjamin for helping to change so many lives.
The world needs more caring, more compassion, more good samaritans. The footwear industry has anabundance of kind-hearted, caring people. Other industries could learn a lot from us. Footwear does indeed care. Shoepeople rock!
President, Two Ten Footwear Foundation