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Contact: Terri Rawson 781.736.1525
Charitable Foundation Launches Only Industry-Wide Volunteer Blitz In The U.S., Supported By Title Sponsor Amazon Fashion
WALTHAM, MA – April 20, 2016 – Since launching its annual volunteer campaign on April 1st, the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the national charitable foundation serving the footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first two weeks of activities. With 8,000 volunteers representing more than 130 companies across 23 states during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares initiative is positioned to affect even more communities than in previous years.
Now in its fourth year, Footwear Cares partners with local, regional and national charitable nonprofits to develop unique volunteer opportunities for footwear industry employees across the country. This year the initiative is focusing on helping disadvantaged children by hosting events, programs and activities that will benefit the most vulnerable in U.S. communities.
Neal Newman, president of the Two Ten Footwear Foundation said, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the out-of-the-gate momentum we have, and the number of children and families we have already been able to help. The generous support of Amazon Fashion, as the title sponsor of Footwear Cares, is vital to our success, enabling us to reach more people and affect more communities.”
Following an initial kick-off party in New York City with a unique, interactive component to benefit homeless children, Two Ten partnered with The Children’s Trust in Boston for a second launch event – a highly emotional ceremony to bring attention to the alarming issue of child abuse and neglect. Shoes donated by Crocs, New Balance, Clarks Americas, Khombu and BCNY International were placed on the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House – 772 pairs in all, representing the average number of children with confirmed cases of abuse or neglect each week in the state. Corporate and political leaders were in attendance, including Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Ellen Story and house Speaker Robert DeLeo, among others.
Immediately after the launch events, the Footwear Cares campaign began its reach across the nation. In St. Louis at the Crisis Nursery, volunteers worked on improving the facilities where young children from abused, neglected or in-crisis family situations are cared for, while in Milwaukee volunteers packed boxes of food at the Hunger Task Force, ensuring low income families receive urgently needed food supplies. In the Seattle area, volunteers at the Kent Clothing Bank distributed free clothing and rain boots for refugee children, and at the Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah volunteers put together complete layettes for newborn babies, to give to low income moms coming home from the hospital.
“In 2015, Footwear Cares brought more than 100 footwear companies and 7,000 volunteers together to donate their time and provide resources and aid to non-profit organizations serving local communities, and this year they were able to exceed those numbers,” said Dana Luthy, Head of Shoes at Amazon Fashion. “For the past three years, Amazon Fashion continues to be a proud supporter of Footwear Cares’ efforts to help make a difference in the lives of people in need across the country.”
Amazon Fashion hosted its first of many 2016 Footwear Cares events, beginning in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where teams of industry volunteers worked with Kids’ Food Basket, preparing “sack suppers” for low income children who otherwise go to bed hungry every night. Michael Bohnsack, Director of Community Engagement at footwear industry giant Wolverine Worldwide said, “It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that 1 in 5 children are born into poverty in the U.S. In the Michigan area alone, there are nearly 50,000 children who are considered “food insecure.” Through the Footwear Cares campaign and support of Amazon fashion, we’re able to organize large teams to help prepare sacks of food, to ensure these kids have a chance to become healthy, self-sufficient adults.”
About the Two Ten Footwear Foundation
Founded in 1939, the Two Ten Footwear Foundation is the national charitable foundation of the footwear industry, providing emergency financial assistance, scholarships, counseling services and community building programs that change the lives of thousands of shoepeople in the United States every year. The only industry-centric foundation in the country, Two Ten brings shoepeople together to support each other during times of crisis and to build a sense of community that ensures a bright future for the industry’s workforce. For more information, please visit www.twoten.org.