In light of the disaster Hurricane Harvey left in its wake, Vans is hitting the ground with relief efforts in Texas. Not only has the company’s parent, VF Corp, donated $50,000 to the Red Cross and offered to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar, but they also have a personal set of feet on the ground: Steve Van Doren himself.
As the whole company rallies around a Hurricane Harvey fundraiser today at its new Costa Mesa headquarters, Van Doren is preparing to head out in the company’s RV to distribute dry, clean clothes, socks, shoes and generally offer up his services for those affected by Harvey.
“Family is everything,” said Van Doren Tuesday, as he packed up more than 5,000 pairs of shoes, 4,000 shirts, 5,000 pairs of socks and other essentials. “We have employees down in Texas who lost their homes to the floods in addition to the thousands of people who were affected. If I can make our employees and anyone I meet down there feel like they are part of the Vans family, then I will have done right by my family.”
The outpouring of support is nothing new to Vans and Van Doren, whose father founded the company in 1966. Van Doren was on the ground 12 years ago after Hurricane Katrina and says he was overwhelmed by what “regular people like me do to help one another out.”
“My father always said this business was not about shoes, it was about the people. Luckily, I have access to a lot of shoes to help people out,” he adds.
The Vans RV hits the road today, alongside two additional company trucks. Upon arriving in Texas, Van Doren and crew will be joined by local Vans’ sales reps and retail teams, and will make their way to Galveston and Corpus Christi. The Vans team will also be preparing warm meals wherever they can, to help out friends and family and give them a break from their current situation, Van Doren said.
The ultimate goal is to just get out there and help, he explains: “Vans gives a shit, and we just want to share some positive vibes to our friends during this tough time.”
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