This July, fifteen 100W members each volunteered “100 Minutes” to pack 883 gift bags for students in need. The gift bags were gifted to various agencies that help children and youth in need including Riley Center, Asian Women’s Shelter, St. Joseph’s, Raphael House, St. Anthony Foundation, and the Salvation Army.
My New Red Shoes, a past 100W grant recipient, provides children and youth with new shoes and a back-to-school shopping experience to fulfill a basic need and remove barriers to school success for children. Read some of the children’s stories:
Ron – a gifted nine year old – was forced to live out of his family’s car with his brother and mother. When they came to the shelter, they were relieved to have a safe place to rest. His family lives with limited resources and Ron must wear the same clothes and shoes. Ron’s transient lifestyle has led to him to difficulties with bullying, depression, and low self esteem. This upcoming year Ron is transferring schools, so a new pair of shoes and a clean outfit would boost his confidence and set him off on the right foot.
Often families struggle to provide clothes and shoes for their children especially trying to keep up with the rate in which they grow. One single father shared that some of his children had been teased for their appearance; their pants too are short and they wear old sandals with socks. Through My New Red Shoes, each child received new shoes and a school uniform. They were SO ecstatic when they received the items. The following day a professional from the shelter realized the youngest had not been given a pair of shoes and was still wearing his worn pair of sandals. During Family Activity she called the boy over to try on a new pair of sneakers. With excitement he wrestled them on assuring her they fit well, but he seemed unclear how to walk in them. It was at that point that it dawned on her that he had never worn a pair of sneakers before. He walked slowly back toward his father, staring at his shoes, speeding up and slowing down, jumping and kicking his feet up to show off his new sneaks—and saying thank you over and over.