Today, Vans, the original action sports brand and advocate for creative expression, commemorates the second-annual #VansCheckerboardDay held on November 19, with a more than $1 million donation to 10 global charities to champion the power of creative expression.
Following a period of global isolation, this year’s Vans Checkerboard Day rallied Vans Fans around the world to amplify and help grow the mission of the global charity partners whose shared purpose is to use creativity-focused programs to impact mental health and wellbeing. Through a donation from Vans and by empowering fans to help raise more money by purchasing limited-edition product designed by Geoff McFetridge, donating their Vans Family points or by participating in the newly launched text-to-donate function in the U.S., each charity partner will receive over $100,000 USD, directly from Vans or from the Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation. The donations will enable charities to expand their services and resources to help the growing number of youth address mental health concerns through creative outlets such as art, music and action sports, including:
- Get Lit-Words Ignite will use the donation to continue building an online platform that makes curriculum available in schools throughout the U.S. and beyond. This online platform will help create an online creative community for young people to share their poems with hundreds and thousands of youth, building community across all geographic regions who are too often stuck without any creative outlet.
- Arte Por La Vida will now be able to expand their work across Mexico and ensure they can provide the necessary resources to a growing number of beneficiaries in need, including materials for workshops, launching new programs, paying teachers and professionals that lead sessions, and ensure that individuals have transportation to get to and from workshops or sessions.
- Singapore Association for Mental Health can now offer services digitally such as online activities and therapy sessions for beneficiaries and caregivers, as well as their 10 ongoing programs. This year, SAMH made the decision during COVID to waive program fees for service users to help alleviate financial difficulties caused by job loss during the pandemic.
Global fans showed up virtually around the world to participate in a variety of digital brand initiatives focused on uplifting and driving awareness for the power of creative self-expression as a resource for mental health and well-being, including over 2 billion views of the #VansCheckerboardDay TikTok Challenge and ambassador testimonials from Tony Hawk, Yaya Zahir and Catalina Bu sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how their own forms of creative self-expression have helped them this year.
“While it is an understatement to say that 2020 has been incredibly stressful, anxiety-ridden and frustrating, I believe there’s a tremendous opportunity for creativity to play a powerful and meaningful role in how we navigate and overcome challenges caused by global isolation,” says Doug Palladini, Vans Global Brand President. “Vans Checkerboard Day took on a very specific mission this year – to champion the power of creativity as an outlet for mental health. With the global pandemic continuing to impact many aspects of our lives, we set out to reinforce our brand commitment and responsibility to be there for our Vans family by connecting through creativity.”
Since 2013, Vans has donated more than $10 million to creative charities globally, enabling creative expression in communities around the world. Vans believes that creativity is an essential part of being human and that everyone should be able to express themselves through the unique mediums that come from action sports, art, music and street culture. The Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation will allow Vans to connect with more organizations around the world that work to enable creativity for our youth. Organizations can visit www.vans.com/checkerboardday to learn more.
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