First Day Shoe Fund Changes Distribution
Group Moves to Fall-Only Distribution
The First Day Shoe Fund, the program that provides free shoes to students at the start of the school year, is announcing a major change to its distribution plans.
The program will no longer deliver shoes during the summer, instead opting to focus on delivering the shoes at the beginning of the school year and expanding the service to schools outside of Kalamazoo Public Schools.
“The summer school shoe distribution model goes back to the organization’s founding in 2012, but with increased need (the organization provided over 4,750 pairs of shoes in 2018), it is necessary to focus on efficiency,” said Andrea Macklin, the executive director of the First Day Shoe Fund. Macklin joined the organization in February.
Moving to fall distribution will eliminate waste and duplication of services, which should help the group provide an estimated 800 additional pairs of shoes to students in the 2019- 2020 school year, Macklin said.
Shoe request forms will be sent home with eligible children during the first week of school. Once these forms have been returned, shoes will be delivered to elementary schools where staff and volunteers will help children try them on to ensure proper fit. Exchanges are available.
First Day Shoe Fund serves schools throughout Kalamazoo County.
Cutline: Photo courtesy of Fran Dwight