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Portland-based KEEN donates 100,000 shoes amid coronavirus crisis

KEEN donated 100,000 free pairs of shoes during the COVID-19 crisis. They also projected an image of a heart in downtown to unite the community and show solidarity.

PORTLAND, Ore. — From everyday people to local businesses, the Portland community is doing what it can to help fellow neighbors in need during the coronavirus crisis. Portland-based footwear company KEEN is trying to shine some positivity and hope on the city they call home.

“When we see issues like this it's always been in our DNA to respond,” General Manager of KEEN Outdoor Erik Burbank said.

KEEN gave away 100,000 free pairs of shoes to the workers on the frontlines of the virus, people who are volunteering in their communities, and for families fighting the COVID-19 outbreak at home.

“The thing that we do best, and we're experts at, is making shoes. That's what we do best,” Burbank said. “So, we tried to look and think, what can we do with our strength and somehow show our strengths with those people that are in need?”

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The solution: free shoes to those who need them around the world. But they wanted to have send hope locally in the city they call home.

So, Sunday night they showed their heart, literally. The KEEN team projected a heart into downtown Portland as a sign of solidarity, that we are in this together.

“Our hope is that people will be reminded that when we get through this--and we will get through this--that we can all come out stronger, more united, and have an even deeper sense of community,” Burbank said.

Monday evening they gave away their final pair of free shoes to those in need. 

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