One lesson we've learned in 2020 is the power of community, the power of showing up for others and lending a hand when you can.
One local company is doing just that. York Athletics launched 'The Fight For Home' collaboration with Olympian Aly Raisman and the non-profit Heading Home to help those experiencing homelessness in Boston.
Mark McGarry, CEO & Founder of York Athletics, says, "We launched it at the onset of the pandemic and, simply, it's an opportunity to empower our customers to outfit those in need with a fresh pair of training sneakers."
York worked with Raisman to develop the Gail sneaker whereby one sneaker purchased equals one sneaker donated.
Raisman says, "I think what originally drew me to the company was that they're a family company, and they're all about giving back and community and that's something that's really important to me."
"Aly is the ultimate fighter and, as you know, our brand promotes the fighting spirit," says McGarry.
When you purchase the shoe, the non-profit Heading Home will make sure another pair is delivered to someone experiencing homelessness.
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CEO of Heading Home Danielle Ferrier says partnerships like this are " critical to highlight basic needs; they're critical to raise public awareness. And so, we're always honored when folks come to the table to join what we would call our team."
The non-profit helps people finding housing and fulfill their needs. Ferrier says, " So far, the responses from staff and folks as we're hearing them receive the pairs of shoes are really excited, really appreciative, feeling like folks care about them."
Caring is what the program is all about. "Each shoe is also going to include an inspirational and motivational message," says McGarry.
"During this time I've been so lucky to have a safe place to call home. And I recognize a lot of people don't have that, and there are some people who don't have a safe place to go. And it was really important for us to really figure out a way to give back. And I was very, very excited to get the sneakers in people's hands that would not be able to afford them," says Raisman.
The 'Fight for Home' Effort is going to continue. We're going to continue to support our community as long as they need us, as long as our warehouse is full of shoes down in Fall River, Massachusetts," says McGarry.