Industry leader provides relief to global youth communities most affected by the pandemic during unprecedented back-to-school season; Launches product initiative to aid its communities, dubbed ‘Collaboraid’
NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the world works to recover from the continued health and economic impacts of COVID-19, Foot Locker, Inc. announces its commitment to donate more than $1.5 million in footwear to youth communities most affected by the pandemic during the 2020 back-to-school season.
"Heading back to school in 2020 is inherently unlike anything our youth have experienced before, and may look very different depending on their location," said Richard Johnson, CEO and Chairman of Foot Locker, Inc. "Whether they continue their studies from home or back in the classroom, the basic needs of our students remain a constant. We aim to provide as many students as possible with a new pair of shoes, so they can look and feel their best going into the new school year."
Foot Locker, Inc. has partnered with several associations – from global charitable organizations to local community service centers – to ensure the footwear its donating lands on the feet of kids in need. Soles4Souls will serve as the anchor partner of the program, enabling and facilitating Foot Locker, Inc.’s donation across seven countries, positively impacting more than 19,000 kids.
"Foot Locker has built their business on understanding what people need, community by community. We could not ask for a better partner to help serve those communities by providing free, high quality athletic shoes to those most in need," said Buddy Teaster, CEO and President of Soles4Souls. "Working together, Soles4Souls and Foot Locker will be there to ensure students have what they need as they head back to school so they’re safe and confident. With so much change right now, knowing that thousands of kids can count on a new pair of shoes is a big deal and we’re proud to be a part of that effort."
Through Soles4Souls, beneficiaries of Foot Locker, Inc.’s $1.5 million footwear donations include:
- United States
- 4 Every Kid – benefitting public school students facing homelessness in more than a dozen cities
- UK – Centrepoint
- UK – Little Village
- France – Les Apprentis d’Auteuil
- 360 Kids – Toronto
- Boys & Girls Club of Canada – Chapters in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Saddle Lake
- Asia / Singapore
- Hope House
- Epworth Community Services
- Trybe Limited
- Gladiolus Place
- Asia Pacific
- Australia – benefitting primary schools through Foot Locker’s "Kicks for Your Class" program
- New Zealand – benefitting primary schools through Foot Locker’s "Kicks for Your Class" program
In addition to its initial footwear commitment – equating to approximately 19,000 pairs globally – Foot Locker, Inc. has also started a product initiative dubbed "Collaboraid," aiming to aid communities through exclusive collaborations with industry-leading designers and brands.
"This year has been one of great challenges for the communities we serve. But with challenges come opportunity – so we are looking at all parts of our business to find meaningful ways to support our youth through the complexities they face today," said Johnson. "From a product perspective, we are proud to announce this support will come through ‘Collaboraid,’ Foot Locker, Inc.’s product approach to aid the communities we serve."
The first Collaboraid collection brings together more than a dozen notable creatives with a shared mission of aiding in the recovery from COVID-19 through sneaker culture. To celebrate the launch of Collaboraid, Foot Locker, Inc. is donating $250,000 to Soles4Souls to facilitate the distribution of its footwear donation and put additional pairs of shoes on the feet of even more kids in need.
Designers and brands featured in Collaboraid’s first collection will include:
- Anderson Bluu x Converse
- A$AP Ferg
- Chinatown Market
- Daily Paper x Crocs
- PUMA "Frontline Heroes" Collection – featuring designs by Foot Locker, Inc. store managers
- Jason Woodside x Vans
- Jen Bartel x K-Swiss
- Jurassic Park x IKONICK
- Just Don
- Louis De Guzman x New Balance
- Lemon Andersen x Andrew Thiele x Converse
- P.J. Tucker x Joe Perez
- Sarath Ton and Mercedes Varnando
- Sophia Chang
Additional information regarding Collaboraid designs and product launch dates will be released in the coming days and weeks. In addition to purchasing Collaboraid products, consumers can contribute to the cause through Foot Locker, Inc.’s membership program, FLX, by redeeming points to support youth in need.
About Foot Locker, Inc.
Foot Locker, Inc. leads the celebration of sneaker and youth culture around the globe through a portfolio of brands including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Footaction, Runners Point and Sidestep. With approximately 3,100 retail stores in 27 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as websites and mobile apps, the Company’s purpose is to inspire and empower youth around the world, by fueling a shared passion for self-expression and creating unrivaled experiences at the heart of the global sneaker community. Foot Locker, Inc. has its corporate headquarters in New York.
Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use: providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization repurposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief, and direct assistance programs. With locations and warehouses across three continents, Soles4Souls has been able to distribute more than 40 million pairs of shoes in 129 countries since 2006. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.
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