Outside Business Journal

KEEN Donates $100,000 to Tornado Victims in Kentucky

The brand has challenged other outdoor companies to join effort

Geoff Nudelman

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With a distribution center just south of Louisville, Kentucky, footwear maker Keen and its employees felt a direct effect from recent tornadoes that ripped through the state. 

“While the tornados struck about 20 miles away from our facility, the death and destruction hit home,” Keen Effect Vice President Erik Burbank told Outside Business Journal, noting that the distribution center has a team of more than 130 employees.

Burbank said that in the immediate aftermath of the storms, the company’s teams went into response mode, supporting both victims and first responders on the ground. Part of that response was a commitment of $100,000 in cash and products, split as $75,000 to United Way of Kentucky’s Kentucky Tornado Fund and $37,000 in boots to nonprofit Good360 to help get footwear to those who need it most. 

“We’ve been working with Good360 in response to multiple disasters since 2017 when we partnered in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” Burbank added. “They’re simply great.”

Asking the Outdoor Industry to Step Up

Keen as a company is asking other outdoor companies to join the relief effort. 

“It’s fortunate that we’re in an industry that makes stuff that people in Kentucky need right now,” Burbank said. “More than 3,000 families lost their homes and all their possessions in this disaster, and we see a great opportunity for the industry to come together and help them out.”

Burbank said Good360 would be happy to hear from brands that make any or all of the following:

  • Heavy blankets
  • Generators
  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Non-perishable foods and snacks
  • Drinks and water
  • Hand warmers
  • Socks, gloves, warm hats
  • Solar phone chargers
  • Baby supplies
  • Hygiene kits 
  • Holiday gifts and toys for children
  • Flashlights/batteries

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