The holidays shaped up to be a little bit -- or a lot -- different this year, and we could all use some extra kindness and cheer to see us through. That’s especially true for all those in our own community who’ve been hit hardest by the pandemic.
2020 has been a year like no other, filled with uncertainty and hardships. But through the challenges, the silver lining has been the good we’ve seen, as individuals and businesses alike have banded together to support and raise each other up. It reminds us that we all have something to be thankful for, and of the importance of giving back.
That is, after all, the spirit in which we launched YORK Gives. While we’ve always had that fighting spirit, the craziness that was 2020 inspired our team to take action and give back to the community that has given us so much.
At the onset of the pandemic, we launched YORK Gives, our purchase-for-purpose program, and created the #FIGHTFROMHOME initiative to help keep front line workers on their feet. We redirected our business operations and started by donating 50 pairs of the GAIL Slip-On sneaker to staff and volunteers at Boston’s Community Servings as they worked tirelessly to feed our critically ill neighbors and their families.
And from there, for every pair purchased, we donated a pair to someone fighting on the front lines. And we weren’t acting alone; it was inspiring to see all of you embrace the Fight From Home initiative as well and express gratitude to the people in your life on the front lines by purchasing a pair of YORK kicks for them. Together, we donated over 1,000 pairs of sneakers to help keep the front line on their feet.
You’ve also continued to show your generosity to our neighbors in need alongside YORK and advocate/gold medalist Aly Raisman. With every purchase of Aly’s signature “The Gail by Aly Raisman'' sneaker, we donated a pair through Heading Home, a Boston-based provider of emergency shelter, housing, and supportive services to homeless families. We formed this partnership to give back in the face of the difficult conditions many families are facing due to the closures of schools and businesses due to COVID-19.
It didn’t stop there. In celebration of this year’s Giving Tuesday, for every pair of sneakers sold on December 1 and 2, we donated a pair of sneakers to help someone experiencing homelessness get back on their feet through Heading Home. We have been so inspired by the volunteers who are providing so much to the homeless in the Boston area, and wanted to continue to do our part through the holiday season. We are proud to share that during our Giving Tuesday campaign, we donated more than 100 sneakers to those in need.
And for this we say thank you. These collective efforts means that more than 1,500 pairs of kicks have been donated to frontline workers and those in need. During a year when nothing was certain, seeing our community come together and give back fuels the fighting spirit of our brand.
Back in April when we launched the Fight From Home initiative, our CEO Mark McGarry wrote:
“Choosing strength, positivity and action can be our antidote to worry, anxiety and feeling helpless. Every day we get to choose how we want to show up and be in the face of adversity and this is a transformative power that we can all tap into right now.”
And that is more important now than ever. We’re so proud and thankful to be a part of this community and hope you are, too. Have a safe and healthy holiday season. Cheers to a new year with new beginnings.
--- The YORK Fam