Archive for April 16th, 2012
In last Saturday’s post I referred to the increasing numbers of homeless schoolchildren attending US schools. Many of these children have to put up with old and/or ill-fitting footwear (in some cases, they have no footwear at all), and a charity based in Claremont, California, named ‘Shoes that Fit’, is seeking to address the problem.
In addition to safeguarding the physical health and welfare of kids, the charity is keen to emphasise how much a child’s “dignity, hope, pride and self-esteem” can be affected by the quality (and, indeed, existence) of their footwear. Studying can be pretty difficult if your feet hurt.
This month, Shoes that Fit is celebrating the delivery of its one-millionth pair of shoes. But despite its massive network of volunteers and the cooperation of school staff, the charity’s success still depends heavily on sponsorship. Without the financial support of businesses, civic organisations, churches, caring individuals and groups of friends – and even some wealthier schools – the supply of shoes would soon dry up.
Recently employees of DaVita Inc., a leading provider of kidney care services, based in Boulder, Colorado, wanted to support the charity by donating 200 pairs of athletic shoes to Lincoln Elementary School, Corona del Mar, California. But when they asked which of the 1,030 children should receive them, they were told that this would be an agonising choice, as the majority were officially needy and many were homeless. They couldn’t face the thought of so many deserving kids left out, so they decided to sponsor the entire school. The company described in a Press Release at the end of March how thanks to its generous employees it was able to provide not just new athletic shoes, but also socks to every one of the 1,030 delighted children.