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Let's Celebrate Creativity

Vans Checkerboard Day is a global initiative established to champion the power of creative expression around the world. Following a period of isolation, this year’s Checkerboard Day will focus on the vital role creativity plays in helping individuals and communities address mental health and well-being. This year, Vans will support 10 charities from around the world whose shared purpose is to use programs focused on creativity as resources for coping with the stressors that impact mental health and well-being, by donating a collective $1 million.

Let's Celebrate Creativity
Ways to Participate
  1. Wear checkerboard.
  2. Try something from this list!
    • Visit a museum (IRL or online) to discover inspiration and meaning
    • Write a poem about when, where or with whom your mental health is strongest
    • Share how skateboarding has affected your life in a meaningful way by submitting a skatepark story
    • Join a CALM Collective to talk about your passion with others
    • Write a letter to your future self about the person you want to be
    • Create a collage of a place you’d like to visit for a gateway to feel more rejuvenated
    • Skate, surf or ride out to spend time with yourself or friends
    • Play or listen to music to express your emotions, relax, focus, or feel connected.
Join the Challenge

We’ve spent a lot of the year apart, so this Vans Checkerboard Day we’re coming together to donate over $1M to organizations that support mental wellness, because creativity is good for your head. Join us on TikTok and show us how you ride, paint, play, sing, or whatever it is you do to express yourself with #VansCheckerboardDay.

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A weekly source of creative inspiration. The Vans Family shares how creativity is good for their heads.

The Vans Family shares how creativity is good for their heads.


Vans will support 10 charities from around the world whose shared purpose is to use programs focused on creativity as resources for coping with the stressors that impact mental health and well-being, by donating a collective $1 million funded by The Vans Checkerboard Fund at the Tides Foundation. Each will receive $100,000 USD from The Vans Checkerboard Fund or via a direct donation from Vans to use towards their organization’s mission to improve the mental health and well-being of youth across the globe through creativity.

  • Arte por la Vida AC
  • The Wave Project
  • The SkatePark Project
  • The Ben Raemers Foundation
  • Get Lit
  • Social Skate
  • SAMH
  • Buku Jalanan Chowkit
  • WABC
  • CALM

Arte por la Vida AC

Arte por la Vida AC's goal is to expand the minds of thousands of kids, teens and elders living in vulnerable situations through art and culture. Thanks to donations, they can continue their mission by having the necessary resources to buy enough material for workshops, support teachers and professionals in their program and provide transportation to their programs.

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The Wave Project

The Wave Project’s goal is to help young people improve their emotional and physical wellbeing through surfing. Surf therapy is beneficial as an intervention for young people in the UK facing social and emotional challenges. It helps them to feel more positive about themselves, socialize better with others, create new and stronger friendship networks and feel more confident and optimistic about their life.

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The SkatePark Project

The Skatepark Project helps underserved communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth. According to a study done in partnership with the University of Southern California, The Skatepark Project found that skateboarding improves mental health, fosters community and encourages diversity and resilience. When young people feel disenfranchised, skateboarding and skateparks provide a shared space to connect with others.

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The Ben Raemers Foundation

The Ben Raemers Foundation aims to end the stigma and burden of mental health and suicide within the skateboarding community. This is done through raising awareness, increasing knowledge and enabling the community to have the tools, skills and techniques that can be used to address issues of suicide and mental health.

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Get Lit

Get Lit – Words Ignite fuses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy on the page and in visual media. They cultivate enthusiastic learners emboldened to inspire social consciousness in diverse communities. Get Lit’s poetry and film curriculum engages young people by providing a creative outlet, community, and real-life work experience, transforming students into activists, scholars, and stars.

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Social Skate

The Social Skate Association’s mission is to develop the social, educational and cultural spirit of children and young people in vulnerable situations through culture, art, education and skateboarding.

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Singapore Association for Mental Health promotes ‘mental wellness for all’, community engagement and outreach, as well literacy in the people-public-private sector through a suite of mental health and wellness talks, workshops and trainings. SAMH Creative Service remains a pioneer in these approaches since 2011 and looks to enhance existing practices, with the goal of developing evidence- based creative, physical activity and somatic practices for preventative work in Singapore.

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Buku Jalanan Chowkit

Buku Jalanan Chow Kit is an independent education center focused on helping children living in poverty. There are no public playgrounds in Chow Kit, so children either play along the crowded street or stay bottled up at home. Donations allow BJC to create more safe spaces for the children so they can belong and to call a place their own.

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WABC Foundation is committed to becoming a builder in the field of social integration in China. They focus on providing free art healing services for people with mental disabilities as well as cultivating their interests and talents in the arts.

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Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide through vital, life-saving support, impactful and provocative campaigns, and collective action. CALM offers life-saving services, provoking national conversation and brings people together to empower everyone to reject living miserably and stand against suicide.

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For the inaugural Vans Checkerboard Day in 2019, we donated over $1 million to to help them foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids all over the world. With the donation, they increased the number of Creativity Chapters globally and strengthened their educational programming in over 20 countries. Now more than 10,000 kids around the world get more access to creative play opportunities, that’s rad! Since Checkerboard Day, has received over 60 new Creativity Chapter applications and now have 190 Chapters in their worldwide network.