Nike and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital are uniting for the sixth year to create the Doernbecher Freestyle footwear collection, which pairs young patients with Nike designers to raise money for Oregon's premier children's hospital. The young Doernbecher patients work alongside Nike designers to create footwear that expresses their personal stories, while raising awareness and funds for the hospital. To date the program has raised more than $2 million dollars. All profits from the collection benefit Doernbecher by supporting advanced pediatric research, providing healthcare to uninsured patients, funding the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment, and training the next generation of pediatric specialists.
“We are proud to support this one-of-a-kind project,” said Elliott Hill, Vice President of Global Retail for NIKE, Inc. “Doernbecher Freestyle is about empowerment through design, bringing together bright young patients and some of our most talented Nike designers to give back to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.”
The young designers range in age from 11 to 14 and all have courageously battled serious illness at Doernbecher. Through the Doernbecher Freestyle Project each child is given the unique opportunity to design a pair of Nike's and is granted complete artistic freedom as he or she works alongside a Nike designer through the entire design process — from selecting a shoe style to choosing materials, colors, patterns and other individual details.
“We are so grateful for Nike's continued vision and generosity. In the six years of the Freestyle program, the company's hard work has translated into more than $2 million for Doernbecher,” said Sue Nicol, Executive Director of the Doernbecher Foundation. “Apart from the significant financial impact, Nike is providing a priceless experience for some really brave kids. Their moment in the spotlight as a Nike shoe designer is one they'll never forget.”
The Doernbecher Freestyle collection will be available for purchase at Niketown stores, nike.com, and at select Nike retailers beginning November 14, 2009. This year's collection features popular basketball, running and skateboarding styles, including a retro Nike Air Jordan VI.