New Balance Launches Program to Improve Children’s Health

NB SparkStart will keep kids active through employee volunteerism and product donations.

Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear.

According to the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adolescents should perform at least 60 minutes of moderately to vigorously intense aerobic activity each day. To try to make this a part of children’s daily lives, the New Balance Foundation has recently launched NB SparkStart, a global program which aims to “improve the health, well-being and self-esteem of children through movement.”

Anne Davis, the company’s vice chairman and executive vice president of administration, says the program’s goal is to assist millions of children in finding their “movement spark.”

“Children thrive when they are physically active,” Davis said in a statement. “Whether it’s a love for jumping, running, soccer, or riding a bike, we believe that children who find their spark—how they love to move—stay active for a lifetime.”

As part of its efforts, the company will enlist employees around the world to volunteer in their local communities, and will provide $4 million in grants this year to non-profit organizations in the U.S., China, and the U.K. New Balance also plans to help underprivileged children by supplying footwear, apparel, and NB SparkStart “movement kits” to those in need. Additionally, from now through August 31, the company will donate 30 percent of the profits from kids shoes sold online and in participating New Balance stores to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The donation will be in the form of new shoes.

“For more than 30 years, we have been dedicated to serving local communities through corporate outreach and foundation grants, associate volunteerism, and product donations,” Davis said in a statement. “NB SparkStart will grow and expand this long-held commitment to supporting positive, sustainable change for young people and communities around the world.”