Charles River Apparel made giving back a priority during this very challenging and uncertain time. The family-owned, Top 40 Supplier has prioritized giving back with the hope of inspiring other industry suppliers to do the same.
Giving back has always been a priority for Charles River. Ten years ago they introduced Charles River Cares to bring more focus to the charitable arm of the company. Since then, Charles River Cares has grown to become an integral part of the organization. The company finds a variety of ways to give back, including employee volunteer work, fundraising events, in-kind contributions and monetary donations.
One key initiative for 2020 was the launch of Charles River's second annual Clothing for a Cause campaign, which aligns some of their top selling styles with different charitable organizations. Charles River committed to donating 10% of their annual sales to three specific causes, all of which provide comfort, hope, and support to youth and families.
After the initial impact of COVID-19 was realized, Charles River made giving back an even greater priority. During the crisis, the company sourced over 160,000 masks that were then donated to local hospitals, shelters, employees, partners, and community organizations. This initiative continued with in-kind donations to organizations like the Provision Ministry, Boston Family Promise and Home for Little Wanderers. Most recently, Charles River teamed up with the New England Patriots Foundation and Revolution to support women, youth and families in need by donating 1,900 pieces of clothing to support families, local homeless shelters and domestic violence prevention organizations. In addition, they collaborated with a local vendor to repurpose their top selling Crosswind Sweatshirt to create 1,000 cloth masks for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
Charles River also signed on to be an official sponsor of the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual bike-a-thon that raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through the sponsorship, corporate partners are able to donate goods and services to help the event keep costs low. This allows 100% of every rider-raised dollar to go directly to life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Charles River focused on increasing their involvement during this difficult time, recognizing that many people need assistance now more than ever. Through philanthropic contributions and in-kind donations across many charitable organizations, the company is staying true to their mission to give back.