DSW steps into social media arena for a good cause

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Branded footwear and accessories retailer DSW recently leveraged social media to hold a contest encouraging existing and potential consumers to vote for nonprofit organizations nominated by DSW employees.

As part of the retailer's Shoe Lovers Care Leave Your Mark program, DSW employees nominated nearly 200 nonprofit organizations for the opportunity to win a grant. Finalists were selected by DSW and then presented via social media for public voting, which wrapped up in late June 2013.

After tallying online votes, DSW awarded the designated $75,000 grant to Autism Speaks, which was nominated by DSW employee Kenneth Alumbaugh from Leander, Texas. Autism Speaks is a leading autism science and advocacy organization dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

DSW president and CEO Mike MacDonald, human resources and philanthropic manager Holly Ross and merchandise manager Kenneth Alumbaugh presented the nonprofit organization with a check for the grant amount at the Autism Speaks headquarters in New York City.

DSW operates 377 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and operates an e-commerce site. DSW also supplies footwear to 347 leased locations in the United States under the Affiliated Business Group.