DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – At one Dallas elementary school, every child received a new pair of athletic shoes on Friday.
Almost all of the 500 pre-K 3 through 5th grade students who attend John Ireland Elementary School come from low-income families.
“This is going to be incredibly amazing for our students. They have no idea this is happening. We’re going to call them down to the auditorium and talk to them about how hard they’ve been working. How much we love them, how much we care about them,” Principal Stephanie Amaya said.
A gift of shoes may seem simple, but when families have to choose between paying for rent, utilities, food and what to put on their kids’ feet, shoes often come last.
— Jennifer Lindgren (@JLindgrenCBS11) February 7, 2020
“I was so surprised,” one student said.
“I wanted these for so long,” another said.
The non-profit Shoes That Fit made it happen for the children.
“One in five families in the US live in poverty. Shoes is one of the most visible indicators of that, so when these kids receive a brand new pair of shoes they can just focus on going to school, the other necessities they need to provide for their kids,” Anna Kristjansen with Shoes That Fit said.
Anna says it means a lot to the kids as it boosts self-esteem, physical activity, happiness and school attendance.
Shoes That Fit has organized shoe giveaways for schools around the country. The gift at John Ireland Elementary came from a donation by Bosse Lending.