The other day my girlfriends and I were strolling at the village.  My friend makes handmade cards, so we went into a stamping store.  As they were looking around, I overheard an adorable senior couple and the sales clerk ping pong thank you’s as they handed over a bulging backpack.  I then looked down in front of me and saw a pile of the same backpacks with purple tags attached to them.  I took a look at one of the tags and it read, “Shoes that fit for School: help school children in need in your community.”

Now the village is a predominantly middle / upper-middle class community so my suspicions kicked in (they usually do whenever it comes to donations.  I am sometimes weary of groups who ask for donations after hearing of well known groups who collect major bucks from people and pennies on the dollar actually help those that the money was intended for.  For example: http://socialistworker.org/2005-2/562/562_04_RedCross.shtml.  It was even reported by mainstream media!   http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/07/29/eveningnews/main516700.shtml

So the sales clerk noticed me looking at the backpacks and went on to tell me about the Shoes that Fit organization.  The organization works with schools in and around the surrounding area to identify children who are in need.  More specifically teachers and/or principals suggest which students this program could benefit.  The community then donates the shoes.  In this case, a backpack is checked out by a donor and they buy a pair of shoes, socks, and school supplies for the student on the tag.  The tag includes the student’s name, shoe size, age, and grade.  Once the backpack is filled with goods the donor returns it and it is picked up by a volunteer of the organization to be dropped off at the child’s school.  The school then delivers is to the child.  So 100% of what is bought goes directly to the student.  The organization is volunteer/donation run.  Now that is a charity I can trust!

My backpack is for a 1st grade girl.   Since I have a son I thought it would be fun to shop for a little girl.  So far I got her shoes, socks, a stainless steel water bottle, lotion, and hand sanitizer.  I just need to get her school supplies and then I’ll be ready for drop off.

shoes that fit backpack

If you live in the Inland Empire and you want to participate, visit any of the participating locations and check out a backpack.  http://www.shoesthatfit.org/node/2091 Backpacks have to be returned by August 14th so there isn’t much time left.  If you aren’t able to participate in this event but would still like to donate visit the shoes that fit website: http://www.shoesthatfit.org/Get-Involved/How-You-Can-Help