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Ready to strut the hallways, First Day Shoe Fund to provide new shoes to students in need

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A new pair of shoes.  To some this idea is a reality but for others a single pair is all that carries them from day to day, month to month, year to year.

Some lucky kids in Kalamazoo will soon be able to slip on some new kicks to strut their way into the upcoming school year.

“Access to adequate footwear is critical to a child’s ability to participate in sports, recess and recreational programs,” board president Jud Hoff said. “We want every child in our community to be able to keep up and run, jump and play with all the other kids. If we can do that and provide some needed relief to families who are shopping for the school year, First Day Shoe Fund has done its job.”

Kalamazoo Public Schools announced that the district will once again host a First Day Shoe Fund shoe distribution event.

“We receive feedback from families and school personnel every year that a new pair of shoes is a self-esteem boost to the kids who receive them. Having a brand new pair of shoes that fits properly and is all yours is a big deal to a kid, especially if you haven’t had that chance very often,” said John Curran, Executive Director. “There are so many great organizations in Kalamazoo working to do their part for the kids in the community, we are thrilled to do our part to help every child start school on equal footing.”

According to the school district, nearly 70 percent of the student body qualifies for free or reduce lunches and a free pair of shoes.

In 2016 the First Day Shoe Fund helped 4,411 students.  The shoes that are distributed are either donated or athletic shoes are purchased at the lowest available price.

The event is on August 9 at the Maple Street Middle School in Kalamazoo from 2:30 – 8 p.m.



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