The Cherokee County Division of Family and Children Services has partnered with Nike to provide foster children with free, brand-name shoes and apparel.
Cherokee County DFCS Director Charity Kemp said the new Nike store in the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta in Woodstock contacted her about a partnership, where the store will donate thousands of dollars of unsellable products to foster children every month.
“They indicated that they wanted to do something positive in the community that would benefit the people that reside here in Cherokee County,” Kemp said. “They really have an emphasis of wanting to do something for the foster children that were in the state’s custody.”
The Nike team dropped off boxes of backpacks, cleats, athletic wear, shoes and apparel Aug. 20, the first of many donations to come, Kemp said.
“This is an outstanding effort on behalf of the children, because it gives the children the opportunity to have nice athletic wear comparable to other children in the community,” Kemp said. “It gives them a sense of pride and increases their self-esteem through positive self-image.”
Nike Operations Coach Sandra Prince-Nighman arranged the partnership, and said the new Nike store will be donating about $4,000 in products to DFCS each month.
“Nike always finds a partner in the community, usually several partners,” Prince-Nighman said Friday. “In the past I have been a foster parent, so it came to my mind, naturally, that DFCS would be a great recipient of what we call miss-makes, or slightly damaged product.”
Kemp said that the first donation included 60 or 70 pairs of shoes.
“The children are very excited, because sometimes they don’t have an abundance of stuff like other children,” Kemp said. “They may not always get the clothing of their choice. Teenagers are very into name brands and it’s important to them at that age, so they like that aspect. So they feel like they fit in with the other children.”
Slightly damaged products are usually minimally damaged goods that cannot be sold, but are still usable, Prince-Nighman said.
“Slightly damaged really means (for example), if a pair of shoes has a snag in the shoelace, we have to discard them and cannot sell them to consumers. So, something like that will just need to have new laces, or it could be a pair of shoes that has a scuff mark that maybe got slightly damaged in shipping,” Prince-Nighman said. “That could surely be cleaned up with minimal effort, and made very usable for kids in need.”
Prince-Nighman said she was glad to be able to work with DFCS and give to children who may not have very much.