Nike is continuing to step up its efforts to help fight COVID-19.
The activewear company announced on Monday, May 4 that it would be partnering with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Europe to donate 140,000 pieces of merchandise in the form of shoes and clothes to frontline healthcare workers around the world.
“At Nike, we’re proud to support our courageous health-care workers combating COVID-19 and caring for our communities,” Jorge Casimiro, Nike’s chief social and community impact officer, wrote in a press release. “To continue showing our gratitude for their tireless efforts, Nike is coming together with Nike athletes to say thank you.”
First reported by WWD, the brand has also teamed up with its brand ambassadors, like Ja Morant, Casey Short, and Joshua Buatsi, to announce the new initiative, which include the donation of 30,000 pairs of Nike Air Zoom Pulse to hospitals across the U.S., along with 2,500 pairs of shoes to be given to healthcare organizations in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, London, Milan, and Belgium.
Launched in November 2019, Nike’s Air Zoom Pulse is the brand’s first shoe designed for medical workers. Co-created by the Oregon Health and Science University, the shoe features a cushion and tracking system made for hospital environments.
Nike’s relief efforts in The U.S. were made possible thanks to its partnership with Good360, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that helps distribute excess merchandise to underserved communities. Together, they will be giving away 95,000 pairs of soccer socks to medical workers in New York and Los Angeles.
This announcement is just one of Nike’s many initiatives to battle the coronavirus pandemic since announcing store closures across the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand in March. For the past many weeks, the Oregon-based conglomerate has been designing personal protective equipment including face shields and air-purifying respirators for frontline medical workers. Nike has also created 1,100 care packages, which contain a water bottle, hat or headband, socks, and a drawstring bag, to healthcare workers in New York.
“Together with our employees’ donations through our two-to-one matching gift program and our initial contributions, [this] brings our total COVID-19 response to more than $25 million,” Casimiro said.