This past Saturday, May 1st, students across the country kicked off the inaugural #DanceYourSocksOffChallenge on TikTok, raising awareness and support for mental health. To kickstart their efforts, popular basics apparel company Pair of Thieves has joined the students’ mission by committing the first $50,000 to mental health nonprofit Bring Change to Mind. Bring Change to Mind is a national organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, to raising awareness and increasing understanding and empathy.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the #DanceYourSocksOffChallenge lets people showcase their fun and creative side while also raising money for an issue that affects so many. Pair of Thieves will be donating $5 per video for the first 10,000 videos posted on TikTok or Instagram on behalf of students who participate. The goal of the challenge is to not only raise money for an important cause, but to feature dance as an important way to improve your health. Dance and movement are good for your mood, self-esteem, to reduce stress, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression and it promotes emotional regulation from your toes up.
“In our current unique and isolated times, it is more critical than ever to understand and prioritize mental health, spark difficult conversations, and erase the stigma around seeking help,” said Alan Stuart, co-founder of Pair of Thieves. “We wanted to do something that inspired the youth, so we tapped CIA (College Influencer Agency) as it is the perfect platform to reach millions of students across the nation and amplify the great work of Bring Change to Mind.”
Pair of Thieves has been championing mental health awareness for years, as the subject hits close to home. When Stuart’s close friend Doug Peterson tragically lost his son to suicide, the brand wanted to do something to not only help Peterson grieve, but to help others struggling with their own mental health. In September 2020, Pair of Thieves teamed up with Peterson to help raise awareness and start the conversation about mental health by traveling on an 1800-mile bike ride from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. Pair of Thieves also partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise funds during Suicide Prevention Month, with $2 from every pair of their Never Alone socks (which have the National Suicide Prevention hotline on them) going to the AFSP.
In addition to the #DanceYourSocksOffChallenge, Pair of Thieves will join Bring Change to Mind later this month through its sponsorship of an upcoming speaker series titled In Conversation with Bring Change to Mind. The series will feature an impressive lineup of speakers and moderators consisting of four panel segments, each focused on an issue surrounding mental health: Men, LGBTQIA+, Race, and the Digital World. The panels will air on People online May 24th – 27th.
“BC2M is honored to partner with Pair of Thieves,” added Pamela Harrington, executive director at Bring Change to Mind. “The company’s long-standing commitment to mental health and suicide prevention is laudable. Working together I know we will be able to reach more young people and save lives.”