Giving Back: How One Running Store Makes It Workposted on May 11, 2020

This year, it makes even more sense for local small businesses and stores to think about giving back. As we work to rebuild our communities across this great country, by giving back, we do so much. For instance, we support social good efforts in our towns and cities. And, as we do more good, you can sustain your business, which is vital to local commerce. As a result of making a strategic approach to give back to the community, you help retain and create jobs. All of it improves the places we live and work.

How One Running Store Makes Giving Back A Top Revenue Priority

One of our partners loves the idea of repurposing running shoes. The store operates out of the State of Colorado, and they make the Sneakers For Good program a top CSR priority. Why do they do it? It’s simple. They discovered that by giving back to their community, they made a positive impact for social good—and their revenue. Not only do customers love the idea that their old sneakers don’t end up in landfills, and support green living, but the store loves the increase in business!

Essentially, what our running store partner does in Colorado is it asks its community to bring their old running shoes into the shop. To make this work for them, they promote their recycling sneakers program in town, which is always essential for CSR. In effect, the store created a program that incentivizes the public to come in and visit them so they can trade-in their running sneakers for a new pair. The funds that they raise through the program go to Achilles International, which has an excellent story for giving back. And, it keeps customers coming back for new running shoes.

What is Achilles International?

As Achilles International tells it on their site, in 1976, Dick Traum was an above-the-knee amputee. Further, he was out of shape and getting close to middle age. Traum decided to join a local Y gym, and then he started to run. As you can imagine, Traum began with short distances, but in time, those distances became miles. Eventually, he ran the New York City Marathon, which was a life-changing experience for him as it is for many.

So it was that in 1983, and in thinking about giving back, that Traum established the Achilles Track Club. Since that time, the name changed to Achilles International. However, the focus remains the same in that it provides people with disabilities with support and training. Non-disabled volunteers train with and support their peers with disabilities in a healthy community. Today, the organization operated in more than 65 locations across the U.S., and also overseas.

One of the significant aspects of Achilles International is that it also supports military personnel and veterans. In addition, it helps children with disabilities remain active with its Achilles Kids program. It also has a host of other programs, such as Hope & Possibility, which happens in cities around the world. In short, Traum’s organization does so much for so many to give back to the community globally.

Think Creatively to Give Back to the Community

Any company or retail store can have a CSR program that helps others, and also helps the business itself. And, the reality is that running stores, such as our partners in Colorado, can show how sneakers can make a social impact. All it takes for a company to create an engaging corporate social responsibility program is a little bit of creativity and know-how. As an example, take a look at Global Giving’s 5 step guide to creating a CSR program for your business. Also, when you’re ready, take a look at the Sneakers For Good program, and consider following in the steps of the Colorado running store to give back to the community.


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