Local nonprofit invites businesses to participate in sneaker-wearing employee engagement campaign.

Submitted by: Rachelle Damminger, Vice President, Communications & Corporate Relations, Back on My Feet

Blank Rome, a national law firm with offices in Philadelphia, was looking for a simple way to engage their employees and connect with a national community service initiative. By partnering with Back on My Feet – a nonprofit combating homelessness – Blank Rome achieved both goals.  

“Back on My Feet’s Sneaker Week is an excellent way to raise awareness about homelessness while allowing employees the opportunity to give their heels and loafers a day off,” said Leigh Ann Buziak, an associate with Blank Rome. More than 500 Blank Rome employees across five offices participated last year in support of Back on My Feet.

Founded in Philadelphia, Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit that promotes the self-sufficiency of those experiencing homelessness by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Individuals living in homeless shelters participate in Back on My Feet’s six to nine month running-based program in which members earn the opportunity to move their lives forward through the many resources provided within the program – such as financial literacy, education, workforce development, legal aid and employment and housing opportunities. The organization has helped hundreds of people find housing and employment.

This year, Back on My Feet is expanding its popular Sneaker Week campaign to a national audience during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 14-18. Companies like Accenture, AT&T, John Hancock, White Lodging, Marriott, Pepsi, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSR Wire and GlobalFit are getting involved. Thousands of employees will donate $5 and in return, are encouraged to wear sneakers to work.

Blank Rome will also participate in Sneaker Week for the third consecutive year. “We continue to be a proud supporter of Back on My Feet events and initiatives, and we look forward to our third successful sneaker campaign in November,” said Buziak. “I strongly encourage any organization or group to get involved in this wonderful event.

Getting your company involved in Sneaker Week is simple:

  1. Sign up at http://backonmyfeet.org/sneaker-week.htmlor contact Rachelle Damminger at rachelle@backonmyfeet.org
  2. Customize Sneaker Week for your workplace
  3. Back on My Feet will send wristbands and stickers for each participant
  4. Collect the donations and send them to Back on My Feet

“We hope to have more than 200,000 people in sneakers and to generate hundreds of conversations around the issue of homelessness,” said Anne Mahlum, founder and president of Back on My Feet. If the organization reaches its $1 million campaign goal, it will be able to serve 500 more individuals experiencing homelessness.