June 19, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

1,700 New Shoes Donated to San Bernardino High Students, Highlighting Critical Need for Proper Footwear in Low-Income Communities

3 min read

Photos by Manny Sandoval: A group of four SBHS friends receiving five pairs of socks from Shoes That Fit, after garnering their new pair of athletic shoes.

In a heartfelt and significant gesture of generosity, an anonymous donor, who is an alumnus of San Bernardino High School, donated a six-figure worth of brand new athletic shoes to the entire student body of 1,700 students on May 23rd. This remarkable act, facilitated by the nonprofit organization Shoes That Fit, aims to address a critical need often overlooked in low-income communities.

The donation included high-quality athletic shoes from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Fila, ensuring that every student at San Bernardino High School now has access to proper footwear. Additionally, each student received five pairs of socks, further enhancing their comfort and readiness for school activities.

“San Bernardino High School wants to express its deepest gratitude for this incredibly generous donation made by one of our alumni,” said Principal Anna Sosa. “It is heartwarming to know that there are organizations like Shoes That Fit who are dedicated to supporting the community and ensuring that every individual has access to basic necessities. Your kindness and support mean the world to us, and we are truly touched by your willingness to make a difference in the lives of our students. Your support will not only provide much-needed footwear but also instill a sense of dignity and confidence in some of our students who are not able to afford quality shoes.”

For many students, having appropriate footwear is a necessity that cannot be met due to financial constraints. This reality is starkly illustrated by the story of three siblings in the district who shared a single pair of shoes, taking turns attending school based on whose turn it was to wear the shoes that day.

“Many of our students have one pair of shoes to get through the entire school year. And between the weather, walking to and from school every day, their shoes are in disrepair. So we are just so thankful, so excited that Shoes That Fit came to San Bernardino High School,” said SBCUSD Director of Communications and Community Relations MaryRone Goodwin.

The impact of inadequate footwear on students is profound, affecting their ability to attend school regularly, participate in sports, and engage in various childhood activities. Shoes That Fit, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Claremont, California, has been at the forefront of addressing this issue. The organization has delivered new athletic shoes to over 164,000 children across 50 states last year alone.

“Shoes are important to kids. But good athletic shoes are expensive and when low-income families are forced to choose food and rent over shoes, children are left wearing shoes that hurt or embarrass them, and some kids skip school altogether,” said Amy Fass, CEO and Executive Director of Shoes That Fit. “We are so grateful to this private donor for meeting this need and investing in the lives of children by providing brand new shoes, making it possible for children to attend school, participate in sports, and enjoy everything childhood has to offer. Thank you for your continued partnership.”

The initiative has not only provided essential footwear but has also instilled a sense of dignity and confidence in students at SBHS, making it possible for them to fully participate in school life.

To learn more about how you can support Shoes That Fit and ensure no child misses school due to lack of proper footwear, visit shoesthatfit.org.

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