Designer Brands, Inc. and Soles4Souls Celebrate Pride Month
As another Pride month comes to a close, Soles4Souls and our long-time partner Designer Brands, Inc. (DBI) have partnered together to extend our support to LGBTQ+ communities. During the past month, DBI and its team have hosted a new shoe drive, and all donations will be funneled through Soles4Souls and distributed to organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community, particularly youth, in New York, Columbus, and Orlando.
“At DBI, we support Pride 12 months a year! MySELF, our LGBTQ+ business resource group, plays a big role in influencing our culture through ongoing events that promote education, equity, community outreach and inclusion. With that said, June is the month when we dedicate even more attention to inspire LGBTQ+ associates, partners, customers and allies to live and work with pride! I’m super proud of our MySELF BRG for spearheading this Soles4Souls shoe drive to specifically support the LGBTQ+ community,” says Christina Ballender, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leader at DBI.
MySELF was started by two employees at DBI who saw a need for a group that could implement changes in the company to support their LGBTQ+ employees. For the past several years, DBI employees have participated in the Columbus Aids walk, held panel discussions around transgender awareness, orchestrated training, and more.
“Personally, giving back to the community is extremely important to me. Being able to provide for those in the community that need the help, and showing that we support them is something everyone should be doing,” says Mindy Halasz, Co-Chair of MySELF.
As the drive continues, both DBI and Soles4Souls continue to share the same ideology: shoes have the power to change lives and create opportunity. Being able to provide to partners who work alongside queer youth to create free programming, housing, and support services really brings our united mission full-circle.
“A diverse culture means we accept those that are different, which allows for a culture of belonging, as well as compassion. I have been asked many times if we support certain organizations, and I’m proud to reply that we work with all organizations with one common goal– helping others. Poverty doesn’t discriminate, natural disasters don’t discriminate. Soles4Souls doesn’t discriminate,” says CeCe McCormick, Senior Director of Business Development.
Soles4Souls and DBI continue to focus on our common goal of helping those in need, whoever they are. As we wrap up another Pride Month, we continue to be humbled by the power of partnership and how through it, we can do more good when we do it together.