Two Ten Footwear Foundation has increased its fundraising efforts, looking to raise over $5 million for the Covid-19 Crisis Relief and Financial Hardship Fund to address the ripple effect of the pandemic. Recently released unemployment numbers for the footwear industry indicate a need significantly greater than originally projected by the foundation. First to step up to the call for action, industry- and Two Ten Board-veteran Glenn Barrett, along with his wife Midge, have committed $500,000 to kick off the campaign and to inspire others’ giving.
“Our industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus, at every level,” states Barrett, CEO and founder of OrthoLite. “With a staggering 60 percent of the industry now laid off or furloughed, the employees who have kept our businesses going are trying to figure out how to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. They are also delaying payment on their rent or mortgages, utilities, car loans and more, which is creating an unsurmountable financial hardship for so many of them. These are our footwear colleagues and we must take care of them.”
The Two Ten Covid-19 fundraising campaign committee is comprised of members from the Two Ten’s Board of Directors and senior executives, and chaired by Barrett. The committee will collaborate with the board on fundraising outreach, calling upon individuals and charitable foundations associated with the industry to actively contribute during this unprecedented time of hardship for the U.S. footwear workforce.
Footwear industry employees currently applying for financial aid are receiving immediate emergency support from the Two Ten. In the coming months, employees experiencing pandemic-related, prolonged hardship will be able to apply for additional financial assistance as a result of the increase in available funds.
“Two Ten Footwear Foundation was created for this very purpose,” Barrett says. “When the founders first came together 80 years ago, they passed a hat around to take up a collection to help one of their colleagues who was struggling, and that was the beginning of the Two Ten mission. Through wars, recessions, industry set-backs, natural disasters and every other crisis imaginable we’ve upheld that mission, but we’ve never experienced anything like this pandemic and its devastating impact on our footwear community. This is an extraordinary time, and I feel it is incumbent upon those of us who have enjoyed success in our industry to give back now.”
Anyone interested in contributing to the Two Ten Covid-19 Crisis Relief and Financial Hardship Fund is encouraged to reach out directly to Terri Rawson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn Barrett, CEO and founder, OrthoLite