For more than 90 years, parents have protected kids’ feet with Stride Rite, and now the Lexington, MA-based brand wants to help families across the United States find homes for their gently worn and previously loved footwear. The company, which has partnered with The Little Gym, is anticipating a massive donation of shoes to benefit the Soles4Souls “Big Hearts, Little Shoes” donation campaign. The initiative kicked off this month and continues through the end of September at Stride Rite stores, online at striderite.com and at Little Gym locations nationwide.
“Partnering together on this initiative was a natural fit on many levels. First, Stride Rite and The Little Gym have a shared vision to make kids more active. In addition, the initiative with The Little Gym and Soles4Souls provides kids with an opportunity to help other kids, giving less fortunate youngsters a chance to help other kids go to school or just go out and play safely,” says Kiran Smith, vice president of marketing.
From now until Sept. 30, Stride Rite shops will have a Soles4Souls drop box in store and parents will receive 20 percent towards a same-day purchase of new shoes for every pair donated. In addition, families will get a free class at The Little Gym with every purchase of new Stride Rite shoes at participating stores near Little Gym locations. “As moms and dads ourselves, the Stride Rite team is very motivated by campaigns like Soles4Souls,” Smith says. “We also know that cause marketing and giving is important to our millennial consumer and Stride Rite will continue to seek out programs and initiatives that will benefit children and families.”
It is estimated that 400 million children globally live in extreme poverty. Since 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed 22 million pairs of shoes to those in need in 127 countries. Smith notes that the shoes collected during this campaign will be distributed to countries around the globe, with half of those distributions staying right here in the U.S. “Our goal is 25,000 pairs by Sept. 30,” she adds.