KEEN is a family owned business and they have always led with their values in times of need (like disaster relief during the recent Australian Bushfires, working with Everyday Refugees to support displaced refugees in Jordan, their efforts in the aftermath of the Tohoku, Japan earthquake in 2011 and following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 LINK.) So, as COVID-19 grew into a global pandemic, the KEEN team in Portland looked for a way to help. I have worked with KEEN for 15 years since their inception in the UK and during this time they have consistently humbled me with their incredible humanity and selflessness in their practices, but this particularly initiative has made me especially proud and heartened in dark times.
In less than a week, KEEN partnered with fans to give away 100,000 pairs, or about $10,000,000 in shoes to people in need.
The KEEN team felt compelled to do something personal for their community. They also knew it had to be directly related to what they did best – making shoes. Having to work virtually, the team at KEEN quickly built and deployed the Together We Can Help initiative which allowed fans to nominate those they felt were most in need of a new pair of shoes at this difficult time.
Within five days the program was live and shoes were flowing to fans around the world. Despite the program being hacked by bots multiple times, from multiple continents, Together We Can Help met its goal of enabling people to stay connected and take action to help others on the front lines of this crisis. People like nurses working overtime shifts, grocery store workers tirelessly re-stocking shelves, and teachers supporting the children of key workers so their parents can continue to go out to work to help fight this crisis, all got a boost thanks to a new pair of KEEN shoes.
In the face of what may be our generation’s greatest challenge, the Together We Can Help initiative was created to enable people to take positive action and build connection in a time of increasing isolation. Enabling people to “pay it forward” by providing someone in their community with a free pair of shoes, has helped build connection at a time of great need.
KEEN send their thanks to you, our fans and community for supporting each other through these difficult times. Whilst this program has come to a close, KEEN remain dedicated to finding ways to work together to help support each other through these challenging times.