Brand News
Nov 18, 2020

Creativity is Good For Your Head

Vans Checkerboard Day to donate over $1 million to organizations that support mental wellness

An uninvited intruder crashed upon the globe this year and upended our lives. But something equally powerful has emerged to confront and counter the pandemic’s tumult. Human self-expression and creativity are flowing across the world, spurring a wave of much-needed uplift and connection. Through rupture comes resilience. Through uncertainty grows strength.

What is Vans Checkerboard Day?

Vans Checkerboard Day is the brand’s biggest annual give-back initiative.

To celebrate the power of drawing, painting, singing, skating, meditating, surfing, cooking – whatever fuels you – and to catalyze even more therapeutic self-expression, Vans Checkerboard Day arrives with a simple message: “Creativity is good for your head.”

Yep, it’s that simple…doing creative stuff makes us feel good. And that will be the focus of the second-annual Vans Checkerboard Day on Thursday, Nov. 19. Donations of more than $1 million will be given to 10 organizations fostering mental wellness.

Putting this year’s focus on mental health was an easy choice for Vans, where creativity is woven through the brand’s DNA.

“We’ve spent much of the year apart, and it’s been tough,” said Doug Palladini, Vans Global Brand President. “But despite the isolation, we are and always will be a Vans family, forever connected by creativity.”

Recent studies show that in the U.S. alone, half of youth are more stressed and anxious now than before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Through the power of creativity, our mission for Vans Checkerboard Day 2020 will be to show that smaller acts of expression can make a big impact on our personal and collective well-being,” Doug said.

Who will benefit?

Vans will support charities from around the world that use creativity programs to foster mental health and well-being. Each of the 10 organizations will receive $100,000 USD from the Vans Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation or via a direct donation from Vans to use toward their organization’s mission. This year’s recipients are Get Lit-Words IgniteThe Skateboard ProjectArte Por La VidaSocial SkateSingapore Association for Mental HealthBuku Jalanan Chow KitWorld of Art Brute CultureCampaign Against Living MiserablyThe Wave Project and The Ben Raemers Foundation.

As Doug noted, small acts of creativity – an essential part of being human – add up and foster the collective well-being. In that spirit, fans across the globe also have the opportunity to support the 10 regional charities by helping to raise even more money.

You can help too.

​​​​​​​Visit Vans Checkerboard Day to buy a limited-edition t-shirt or pair of Authentics designed by renowned artist and Vans brand ambassador Geoff McFetridge – 100% of the proceeds will be donated. And hear from the likes of Tony Hawk, Anderson .Paak, Yaya Zahir and others about how their own various forms of creative self-expression have helped them to keep a clear mind and reduce the presence of mental stressors.

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