San Manuel gives 1,000 youth shoes for the holidays

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Photo BGCGRR: Left, Faun White and Audrey Martinez of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and center, Mark Davis and P.T. McEwen of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands Riverside pose with recipients of San Manuel’s Soles for the Holidays initiative, Nike employees and Wells Fargo volunteers at the Nike store in Redlands on Saturday, Dec. 14.
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A thousand local kids and teens got a new pair of shoes for the holidays, thanks to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ Soles for the Holidays initiative.

San Manuel’s Business Committee gifted the Club $100,000 to buy shoes. Eighty-six percent of kids and teens who attend the Club are from low-income households, and one of their consistent needs is for shoes.

Photo BGCGRR: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside staff member Juan Jose Mejia helps two boys try on shoes at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ Soles for the Holidays event at the Nike store in Redlands on Saturday, Dec. 14.

“More and more, staff are reporting that more and kids are wearing worn-out and holey shoes,” said Club CEO P.T. McEwen.

With the financial backing of San Manuel, the Club worked with Nike stores in Redlands and Ontario to bring youth and volunteers together for a shopping spree in mid-December.

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“There are a lot of needy families out there and we’re blessed to have the opportunity to help,” said San Manuel Business Committee member Audrey Martinez, who took four sisters shopping at the Redlands Nike store.

Volunteers from Nike, San Manuel and Wells Fargo helped each kid and teen try on and choose a pair of shoes before the store opened to the public. “We’re so grateful San Manuel generously met such a big need in the community,” said Club senior vice president Mark Davis. “Kids have the ability and confidence to do great things when they have a good pair of shoes.”

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