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Tieks Holds Virtual Auction to Support Ukraine

Between March 31 and April 3, 2022, something extraordinary took place on Tieks.com. The online Italian ballet shoe company, known for its socially conscious mission, hosted its first auction in support of the citizens of Ukraine. By all accounts, it was a resounding success. When the gavel sounded on the last day, $87,782 had been raised.

The money will provide tens of thousands of meals to residents and refugees of Ukraine via a partnership with World Central Kitchen, the charity run by big-hearted celebrity chef José Andrés.“At times like these, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges we face and the speed of each new crisis,” said Andrés on his website, wck.org. “But many complex problems have simple solutions. Sometimes you just need to decide to do something. Sometimes you just have to show up with a sandwich or some warm rice and beans. You’d be amazed at the power of a plate of food. It can change the world, and so can you.”

E-Commerce With a Purpose

The heart and soul of tieks.com, and the person who made this whole enterprise possible, is the company’s CEO, Kfir Gavrieli.

Since the beginning, Kfir Gavireli has steered his company toward e-commerce with a purpose. Unsatisfied with simply making a profit, Gavrieli built a company that does just as much good for the underprivileged as it does for its loyal consumers. By selling high-quality Italian ballet-style flats, Gavrieli’s company has donated over $10 million to more than 55,000 female entrepreneurs in over 70 countries, including the United States. Tieks.com has become the largest single lender on global lending site Kiva since its inception.

“I am very grateful I am in a position where I could think creatively to try to help, and I know that many other businesses and community leaders who have done similar things feel the same way,” says Gavrieli.

Tieks.com’s customer base deserves credit, too. They’re the ones who rally and support the mission of tieks.com and helped share news about the virtual auction. Once word got out, bidders scrambled to win unique, one-of-a-kind, and limited-edition shoes made exclusively for this special online event to support Ukraine. One pair of rare shoes fetched a whopping $6,500. Several others went for nearly $5,000 each. In addition to the lineup of notable shoes with enticing names like “Arabian Night,” “Red Diamond,” and “Toscani,” Tieks held a separate raffle for a one-off pair of beautiful shoes named “Mirage.” The auction proceeds went to the Ukrainian initiative of World Central Kitchen, an organization Kfir Gavrieli has always wanted to support.

A Partnership With Heart

Andrés, a celebrity chef and humanitarian, founded World Central Kitchen in 2010, following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Andrés got involved by doing what he does best: cooking meals. Only this time, he was cooking with scarce ingredients for hungry, displaced Haitians. World Central Kitchen has gone on to provide restaurant meals to thousands of disaster victims worldwide, putting boots on the ground in far-flung places like Beirut as well as familiar turf like Texas.

Inspired by World Central Kitchen’s hashtag #ChefsforUkraine, Kfir Gavrieli created #TieksforUkraine. Gavrieli says, “My hope is that through the auction proceeds, World Central Kitchen will be able to provide tens of thousands of meals for Ukrainians braving this unimaginable war.”

It appears Kfir Gavrieli’s hope has come to fruition. But the success of the auction didn’t come out of thin air. Before the virtual auction, Gavrieli had already built a solid reputation as a man committed to philanthropy and social causes. As Tieks CEO, his long-standing and consistent dedication to assisting women entrepreneurs through lending on Kiva.com has won him the admiration of colleagues, other philanthropists, and the public at large.

And, lest it be overlooked, the quality of the Tieks brand shoes themselves deserve credit. The innovative split-sole design, fine craftsmanship, and excellent Italian leather make them an irresistible buy.

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