Prairie Post (West Edition)

Shoes for Kids well heeled after recent donation


A generous donation from the Lethbridge Kinsmen Club has allowed Shoes for Kids YQL to expand their program to continue running all year long as the demand for shoes continues.

The Lethbridge Kinsmen Club recently donated $5,000 to Shoes for Kids YQL.

Mallory Kristjanso­n, a founding member of Shoes for Kids, said the demand for shoes has not died down after children went back to school.

“We’re seeing consistent requests for brand new shoes that are continuing to come in,” said Kristjanso­n.

She said they knew the Lethbridge Kinsmen Club were going to step up to some extent but were not sure how.

“That donation has sincerely been able to help us with even more children, and that donation is going to help us continue to run our efforts all year long,” said Kristjanso­n.

The goal of the Shoes for Kids YQL Foundation is to provide southern Alberta children with a new pair of running shoes for the first day of school. New shoes can improve student behaviour and attendance, boost self-esteem and increase physical activity.

Kristjanso­n said with some schools requiring children to have indoor and outdoor shoes, makes it difficult for some families and their goal is to help those families help fill up the gaps.

She said that even though they collected shoes prior to school starting, some local businesses like Freddie’s Paint continues to collect new shoes for school-aged children.

“Because we’ve already distribute­d over 200 pairs of shoes, now we go and we continue to buy shoes as requests come in. Our volunteer-based team is going out buying shoes after we get the request from the schools,” said Kristjanso­n.

Donations of shoes and money began coming in shortly after this year’s event was announced earlier this summer and to date over 300 pairs of shoes have been donated and more than $19,000 in monetary donations has been received, exceeding last year’s campaign.

Shoes for Kids YQL Foundation distribute­s new runners to Grade 1 to Grade 12 students in need in Lethbridge and the Kainai and Piikani reserves, which have been identified through the school system.

“We will continue our efforts throughout southwest Alberta. If there’s a student that is in need of shoes, that’s why we do what we do, to ensure that no child ever has to go without a brand new pair of shoes, whether that’s for extracurri­cular activity, walking to and from school, wherever, every single child deserves a brand new pair of shoes,” said Kristjanso­n.

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