I recently decided to go with a pair of Targhee II hiker from KEEN for when I hike the 500 mile El Camino de Santiago in Spain this September. Not only was I impressed by the comfort and fit of KEEN footwear, I also admired Keen’s commitment to social responsibility. I am happy to support a brand that gives back as much KEEN Inc., and am pleased to announce this great opportunity:

KEEN Inc. — a leader in hybrid outdoor performance products, including footwear, socks and bags — is running an exciting contest with the chance to win a week-long volunteer vacation at an animal rescue society near Cape Town, South Africa. Entries are being accepted until August 21, 2009, at www.keenfootwear.com/southafrica.

The trip is organized by i-to-i, a U.K.-based volunteer travel company which has sent more than 20,000 people to volunteer in Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin America since 1996.

The winner will volunteer at TEARS, an animal shelter that provides pet food parcels, veterinary treatment and animal care education for community members with animals that could not otherwise afford these goods and services. The society also works with children who have had extremely hard lives and teaches them to care and be responsible for animals. Learning these nurturing skills helps to break the cycle of abuse in these children’s lives.

After returning from South Africa, KEEN invites the winner to share stories from the trip on its HybridLife Community page at www.keenfootwear.com/community. The community connects people who are creating possibilities, engaging with the outdoors, and caring for the world around them.

The grand prize is valued at about $4000 and includes: roundtrip coach class air transportation, provided by South African Airways, for one between a major U.S. gateway city and Cape Town South Africa to volunteer with animals in Cape Town, South Africa; and a shared dormitory room in volunteer house for a minimum of one week and up to two weeks. The travel must be completed by September 30, 2010. Beyond the volunteer opportunities, the winner can explore an amazing range of other activities – from surfing to hiking to shopping in and around Cape Town.

To enter or obtain official rules go to www.KeenFootwear.com/SouthAfrica.