Call it what you will; but of late, the idea that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Finish Line could work side by side has crossed my mind. By any standard, that's quite a reach. But then again, it just might be crazy enough to work. As you are probably wondering, how would a successful shoe retail line and an organization that has dedicated itself to humanitarian causes cross paths? Here's my pitch.
What Made Me Think Of This?
I'll start by explaining why this issue is of interest to me to begin with. I have had the privilege of working with UNODC at its New York office, one of its two global liaison offices. My duties involved looking for donors to help finance UNODC's major operations. I'll even go as far as saying that donor contributions are the very lifeline of this important part of the UN.
Take last year (2015) for instance. UNODC required $760.1 million, but its parent body, the UN, could only provide it with $88.9 million. That's less than 12% of its financing needs, and the rest had to come from donors. So, it goes without saying that UNODC could use all the help it could get in form of financial support, which is why a relationship as seemingly unlikely as the one I am suggesting between the international body and the popular athletic footwear store may not be that far-fetched after all.
What's UNODC All About?
But first, I'll tell you a little about United Nations Office on Drugs (UNODC) and Finish Line so that all facts are laid out in the open. UNODC is part of the globally-recognized organization, the United Nations (UN). This arm of the organization specializes in the fight against drugs, terrorism, crime and corruption - a toll order for governments around the world.
To fund its noble causes, the international non-governmental organization relies on donations from institutions and governments; and this is where I believe Finish Line can play a part. In case you don't know this already, Finish Line, despite owning more than 650 stores across the U.S., also operates a philanthropic arm called the Finish Line Youth Foundation (FLYF).
Previous FLYF Contributions
Lately, FLYF has contributed $25,000 to the building of a playground in Bradenton for special needs children. In 2015, the foundation also gave 300,00 meals to the hungry in Indiana and also helped to feed Haitians in need of food aid after a devastating earthquake. The company, through FLYF, also contributed $106,443 as grants to organizations that help with healthy lifestyles, youth development, and special needs. This is why I think working with UNODC is right up its alley.
Why UNODC Is Worth The Support From FLYF
UNODC's cause is very close to my heart. I have had first hand experience with victims of drug use and international crimes such as human trafficking, which is rampant around the world. I also don't need to mention the crippling nature of perverse corruption to the economic and political well-being of many people around the world, a vice that this organization helps to fight through sensitization and other measures.
The fact that the organization dedicates every part of its budget towards this agenda has made me one of its many enthusiastic advocates. You see, few organization have the global reach, or even the motivation to go as far as UNODC does in its bid to free the world of drug problems and crime. Even without having to explain further, it should be clear to anybody that the work of this organization is very important, not just to me but to every individual who can spare a thought for the wellbeing of our world.
Why Finish Line And UNODC Can Work Together
I sincerely wish there were more companies supporting UNODC. A store like Finish Line, which is a personal favorite not just for its great shoes, Finishline coupons, and also for its FLYF, has a role to serve in helping rid the world of drugs and crimes like corruption. True to its name, this organization has not hesitated to pitch in where help was needed to help better the prospects of today's youth, or even alleviate humanitarian crises such as hunger.
Finish Line is not just a shoe store. They have a mission to inspire the young generation to dream big. This is why they highlight stories of athletes who started from humble places and grew and contributed to society, like basketball player Jamal Crawford.
UNODC's activities are therefore worth the attention Finish Line's philanthropic foundation gives to youth and humanitarian causes. In case you are still wondering what UNODC has to do with youth, which is clearly FLYF's primary agenda, you should know that this is an organization that tries to protect the future of the youth. Therefore, it should act as a donor to organizations that encourage the youth to have better lives.
For instance, UNODC carries out sensitization drives to educate the world about the woes of corruption, drug use, human trafficking, and other major global issues. Truth be told, dealing with these problems now helps the youth have a better future tomorrow. Actually, I can only wish that more organizations would join in in this campaign. Heaven knows UNODC needs as much financial support as possible to make its dream for a better world a reality, and Finish Line can certainly help.