The Importance of Giving Back
Last year on Father’s Day I wrote my first post about working with my dad and brother and the joy of traveling and running together. This year I wanted to follow that up with another similar post for Father’s Day and reflect on the past year and what’s to come.
This past year has been filled with many challenges in our business, but our brand continues to grow and expand and experience success, which is very exciting for all of us. We have grown our team, adding some really talented people that bring new energy and perspective to the business. Importantly, we have grown our distribution in the US and all over the world. Our brand is recognized among runners and athletes, and now we have launched our new performance socks for Everyday to extend our technology to all walks of life.
With the success we have experienced in business my father rightfully reminds my brother and I that we need to give back to our community. Growing up my father was always a community leader serving as mayor of our hometown, and very involved in community organizations like Rotary, The Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way. He also served as president of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers engaging in pubic relations for the industry. Watching his community leadership had a lasting impact on my brother and I.
As a global brand with partners and distribution all over the world, it can be somewhat challenging to define your community, but considering we live in North Carolina and have 2 offices here, it’s naturally the easiest place for us to get involved and give back. The past few years we have given tens of thousands of socks to the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Samaritan’s Feet, and Access to Success, all non-profit organizations based in-and-around Charlotte. This has been really gratifying for us as we have seen first-hand the impact it has on the people in the community.
Also, last year my brother, a father himself, took a cue from our dad and decided to respond to a call from his church for more volunteer coaches for another Charlotte based non-profit called Let Me Run. Let Me Run’s mission is to educate boys through running so that they can grow up to be physically, socially, and emotionally healthy men. It was very compelling to him, their mission closely aligns with ours because they use running as the vehicle to build self-esteem. After one season with the organization and seeing first-hand the work they do, he was sure we needed to build a closer partnership with them. As a result we became a national sponsor for and began to donate money to help them expand their sponsorship program for boys that couldn’t afford to participate on their own. We feel really strongly that we can make an impact on many communities in the US with this partnership.
Recently, Let Me Run announced their Charity runner program for the New York City Marathon and opened up applications for 6 spots. I have always wanted to run the NYC Marathon so I quickly jumped on the opportunity. Previously, I ran two of the other majors, Berlin and Chicago, and both times I raised money for youth running organizations. It seemed fitting that I try to do the same for Let Me Run, our new partner. Luckily, Let Me Run was happy to accept me as a Charity Runner and I have launched my effort to raise money for them and I’m very excited to be able to represent them and make my own contribution this year. Not to mention, I get to run the best marathon in the world.
This year is a defining year for our business for many reasons, but one of the things we are most proud of as a family is the ability we have to share success with the community and on this Father’s Day I am grateful to my father for being a great example to my brother and me. I hope we can continue to make a lasting impact on the world together. Thank you Dad!