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Volunteers, nonprofit outfit students with new shoes (Video)





Each of the more than 450 students at Orchard STEM School received a new pair of gym shoes Thursday, thanks to a group of volunteers and the California-based non-profit Shoes That Fit.

Angela Zavagno, a family friend, asked Principal Kathryn Francis if her students needed new shoes. The answer was a definite yes. 

That is when Zavagno teamed up with Shoes That Fit. The nonprofit works to provide new athletic shoes to children in need. 

Zavagno and friends raised $12,000 to buy the gym shoes.

“Having shoes that don’t fit is a terrible thing,” said Zavagno. “It is a simple thing we can do to increase a child’s activity and their self-esteem. They are proud, they are happy, and you can just see the joy on their faces.”

The team of volunteers went to the school to measure all the students’ feet, then ordered the shoes through Shoes That Fit at a discounted price. The volunteers also bought socks for the students.

Many of the students thanked the volunteers as they headed back to class.

Having shoes that are old or don’t fit can be one of the many barriers to school attendance. CMSD is working to break down those barriers and reduce chronic absenteeism through its “Get 2 School, You Can Make It!” attendance campaign.

Shoes that Fit helps more than 124,000 students each year and has distributed more than 2 million pairs of shoes nationwide since its inception in 1992.