by Stephen Garner
House of Vans Chicago mural by OJ Hays & Jasmine Webb

Vans commemorated its second-annual #VansCheckerboardDay, held on November 19th, with a more than $1 million donation to 10 global charities to champion the power of creative expression.

Following a period of global isolation, this year’s Vans Checkerboard Day rallied fans around the world to amplify and help grow the mission of the global charity partners whose shared purpose is to use creativity-focused programs to impact mental health and wellbeing. Through a donation from Vans and by empowering fans to help raise more money by purchasing limited-edition product designed by Geoff McFetridge, donating their Vans Family points, or by participating in the newly launched text-to-donate function in the U.S., each charity partner will receive over $100,000, directly from Vans or from the Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation. The donations will enable charities to expand their services and resources to help the growing number of youth address mental health concerns through creative outlets such as art, music, and action sports.

Global fans showed up virtually around the world to participate in a variety of digital brand initiatives focused on uplifting and driving awareness for the power of creative self-expression as a resource for mental health and well-being, including over 2 billion views of the #VansCheckerboardDay TikTok challenge and ambassador testimonials from Tony Hawk, Yaya Zahir ,and Catalina Bu sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how their own forms of creative self-expression have helped them this year.

Vans brand ambassadors Tony Hawk, Yaya Zahir and Catalina Bu

“While it is an understatement to say that 2020 has been incredibly stressful, anxiety-ridden and frustrating, I believe there’s a tremendous opportunity for creativity to play a powerful and meaningful role in how we navigate and overcome challenges caused by global isolation,” said Doug Palladini, global brand president at Vans. “Vans Checkerboard Day took on a very specific mission this year – to champion the power of creativity as an outlet for mental health. With the global pandemic continuing to impact many aspects of our lives, we set out to reinforce our brand commitment and responsibility to be there for our Vans family by connecting through creativity.”

Since 2013, Vans has donated more than $10 million to creative charities globally, enabling creative expression in communities around the world.