Footwear giant Nike has announced it will donate 30,000 pairs of shoes specifically designed for healthcare workers across hospitals in the United States, in addition to the thousands already shipped to healthcare workers in Europe.
In November of 2019, Nike released the “First shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero,” the company said in a statement, in reference to its Air Zoom Pulse model. Jorge Casimiro, Nike’s chief social and community impact officer confirmed the donation, stating that “we’re announcing the donation of Air Zoom Pulse and other products totalling more than $5.5 million, to healthcare athletes across the United States and Europe.”
“The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals… from one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognise the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes,” the company wrote on its website.
Now, it has announced that more than 30,000 are on their way to healthcare workers in the U.S., after partnering up with Good360, a non-profit organisation that specialises in the distribution of donated products to those in need.
Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City are first in line, as well as the Veteran’s Health Administration, with the company adding that healthcare workers in New York City and Los Angeles will receive 95,000 pairs of mild compression socks to help them with long shifts on their feet, bringing the number of footwear and apparel items donated to 140,000 in total.
Nike has said that in the development of the Air Zoom Pulse model, the company worked alongside doctors and nurses ate the Oregon Health & Science University, as well as the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon to ensure that the shoe was comfortable and supportive for those working a long shift on their feet.
The company has said that teaming up with Good360 will “ensure delivery of the footwear to health systems and hospitals when they are ready to receive and deliver them to their staff.”
Nike has also teamed up with a number of high-ranking sports personalities, including Sabrina Ionescu of the WNBA, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and LA Dodger’s Joc Pederson. Ionescu said that “when I think about our healthcare athletes, I think about how they’re all fighting for something bigger than themselves right now… that kind of strength and courage speaks volumes, and inspires us all.”
According to reports, Nike has already donated more than 290,000 units of personal protective equipment and a quarter of a million face masks to hospitals in the United States.
New York Mayor, Bill DeBlasio has tweeted to the company, saying “thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes,” after news of the announcement.
There has also been a donation from Converse, one of Nike’s acquisitions, who has offered up 2,600 pairs of shoes specifically for the Boston area. The donations have been collected by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center’s Boston and Hudson, Massachusetts locations.