Charity Works: LuisaViaRoma & Unicef to Host Charity Event for Jordan Refugees + More

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

May 9, 2022: On July 30, in Capri, Italy, LuisaViaRoma will host a charity event alongside Unicef in support of Syrian refugees. LuisaViaRoma, who has been a partner of Unicef for the past five years and hosts a biannual charity gala, decided to document what happens behind the scenes in refugee camps and how the funds raised at the galas are used. During the evening on July 30, Jennifer Lopez will perform an exclusive concert, and throughout the evening there will be a screening of the documentary filmed in Jordan, and Unicef will also be reporting live from Ukraine.

May 3, 2022: Saks is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month with a multifaceted campaign to spotlight the importance of mental wellbeing and raise funds for the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation. Campaign components include positive affirmation decals available for purchase, exclusive digital content, a partnership with holistic psychologist and intergenerational trauma expert Dr. Mariel Buqué, a window installation dedicated to mental health awareness at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City, and Saks employee events and experiences. “Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year, yet the need for mental health resources and the stigma tied to seeking help remains,” said Marc Metrick, CEO of Saks and Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation board member. “With this campaign, we are proud to spotlight the importance of mental health and raise crucial funds for our nonprofit partners to help support the emotional and mental wellbeing of the communities they serve.” Since the Foundation’s founding in 2017, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation have donated more than $4.9 million to U.S. mental health initiatives and reached over 6.6 million individuals with messages that combat the shame and stigma surrounding mental health struggles.

April 19, 2022: Foot Locker Foundation announced on Tuesday that it has awarded $560,000 worth of scholarships to a group of 20 high school seniors across the U.S. as well as 30 Foot Locker employees. The group of high school seniors, known as the 2021-2022 class of “Foot Locker Scholar Athletes,” will each receive a $20,000 scholarship for their school of choice. Unlike other scholarships based on athletic or academic performance, the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program recognizes student-athletes who go above and beyond in their communities, offering financial support as they pursue higher education while continuing to be community leaders and changemakers. In addition to investing in the future of scholar-athletes, since 2011 the Foundation has awarded more than $806,000 in scholarships to team members through its Foot Locker Associate Scholarship program. This year, 30 Foot Locker team members committed to advancing their education were awarded scholarships through this program.

April 13, 2022: The VF Foundation, the philanthropic arm of VF Corporation has released its second impact report on Wednesday, which details how the Foundation positively impacted more than three million people in 73 countries during the period between March 29, 2020, to April 3, 2021. During this time, The VF Foundation provided grants to support 91 community partners around the world and distributed more than $8 million to support efforts centered on its four priorities, which include increasing equitable outdoor access and conservation; educating and inspiring inclusive leaders in apparel and footwear; empowering the freedom of self-expression and creativity; and disaster relief and recovery. In addition to the direct support provided by The VF Foundation, VF’s associates and family of brands also contributed monetary and product donations throughout the year to support disaster relief and recovery efforts. Together, The VF Foundation and VF Corporation, its associates and family of brands, donated more than $24 million during this same period.

April 12, 2022: Keen is moving forward with its “Making Waves” partnership with Outdoor Afro and the YMCA, which the outdoor footwear brand said is aimed at tackling the Black youth drowning crisis. The next steps in the effort — which Keen said aims to impact 100,000 Black youth and their caregivers throughout the country over the next 10 years — will include a limited-edition Outdoor Afro x Keen sandal collection release. The sandal range, which is available now via, will help raise funds for scholarships for swimming lessons, dubbed Swimmerships. The Outdoor Afro x Keen sandal collection includes artwork from Outdoor Afro volunteer leader Leandra Taylor, and features popular silhouettes including the Newport H2 for men, the Astoria West for women, and the Newport H2 and Stingrays for kids. Outdoor Afro created “Making Waves” in 2019 with Keen, and the YMCA first supported a pilot program in New York, Atlanta, Charlotte and Phoenix in 2021. Keen said this expanded partnership will help Outdoor Afro grow in key markets nationwide in 2022. What’s more, Keen said kids and their caregivers can sign up for Swimmerships on the Outdoor Afro beginning this summer, and each Swimmership includes a full swim course of anywhere from eight to 10 lessons at local YMCA’s and select community pools. Also, people can sponsor a swimmer on the Outdoor Afro website, with $10 equalling a lesson, $100 equalling a Swimmership and $1,000 equalling a full class.

April 11, 2022: Soles4Souls is hosting its second annual Race4EveryKid fundraiser throughout the month of May. The event, which aims to fight youth homelessness, is a virtual run, walk or bike race and is open to all ages. Soles4Souls launched its ambitious 4EveryKid initiative in October 2020 with a mission to provide a pair of brand-new athletic shoes to every K-12 student experiencing homelessness. Every $20 raised through the Race4EveryKid fundraiser can pay for a new pair of athletic shoes for a homeless child, allowing them to attend school, try out for a sports team or stay active. Participants can register online here to compete either as an individual or as a team. Supporters can also donate through the race page.

March 8, 2022: The Skechers Foundation announced today that it has donated a record-breaking $2.5 million to children with special needs and education through funds raised at its latest Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. The annual event has raised close to $18 million to date for children. Supported by presenting sponsor Kinecta Federal Credit Union, and more than 100 companies, the donations were distributed by Skechers executives to Foundation donation recipients at Skechers’ retail store in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on March 3. The Foundation presented $713,000 to the non-profit organization Friendship Foundation for children with special needs and their families, as well as more than $1.47 million in checks to six education foundations.

Feb. 15, 2022: DTLR will engage in several community-focused initiatives starting Feb. 17 and ending Feb. 19 for NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland. On Feb. 17, the retailer — along with kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio — will unveil plans for a $100,000 playground including new equipment and more at the Broadway Club, which will be funded by DTLR. The company will also partner with local nonprofit Random Acts of Kindness to distribute 1,500 hot meals throughout the weekend, as well as thousands of clothing items to shelters and the homeless community in downtown Cleveland. Lastly, DTLR will host a basketball clinic at John Adams High School on Feb. 19 for 75 local kids that will be run by NBA champion Dahntay Jones.

Feb. 8, 2022: Under Armour is expanding its commitment to Morgan State University in Baltimore, one of Maryland’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In addition to being the official outfitter of the university, Under Armour is launching a career program for 50 students at the school to be able to learn from top UA talent. Through this program, students will have the chance to participate in a case study competition for the chance to win one of five $10,000 scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year. UA will also offer MSU coaches access to its virtual coach-training space and will reserve two internship slots in its UA Rookie program for MSU students.

Jan. 27, 2022: As part of its ongoing ESG and Belonging initiatives, Neiman Marcus Group has announced its partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). To kick off the news, NMG has donated $250,000 to HRC leadership to benefit HRC and Dallas nonprofits supporting the LGBTQ+ community. NMG was also reviewed by the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index — a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees — and was named one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.”

Jan. 26, 2022: Vegan footwear brand Grounded People has kicked off its LACES (Learn to Achieve and Create Everlasting Sustainability) initiative, which raises both awareness and funds for various worthy causes. With every purchase of the brand’s vegan unisex footwear, shoppers can select the color of laces that correspond to a specific partner organization allowing consumers to proudly show wearable statements of support to those causes. In turn, Grounded People contributes the cost of the laces directly to the chosen charities. Organizations currently involved in the LACES program include the Kidsafe Foundation, which provides a safe haven for children and youth in underserved communities; Red Rover, which helps animals in crisis through emergency sheltering, disaster-relief services, financial assistance, and education; Trees for the Future aimed at ending hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land; and One Tree Planted, which supports reforestation around the world.

Grounded People vegan footwear

CREDIT: Lelo Teofilo for Grounded People

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.

Vans Continues Stoked Partnership With New Community-Focused Initiatives


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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