Patricia Madrigal believes that every child deserves shoes that fit. Recently, she had the opportunity to lead an effort to provide new shoes to local kids in need.
Madrigal and her fellow Information Technology employees at Southern California Edison (SCE) sponsored the 2nd Annual New Shoes Drive with the goal to collect 250 pairs of new shoes and socks. They ended up collecting 350 pairs of new shoes and double the amount of new socks in just a month’s time.
“The strategy was to select schools in the neighborhoods where SCE has offices and give employees the opportunity to help their local communities,” said Madrigal. “We prioritized the neighboring schools by need, based on the percentage of children who qualified for reduced or free meals.”
The IT employees partnered with Shoes That Fit, a nonprofit organization that provides new shoes to children in need so they can attend school in comfort and with dignity, better prepared to learn and play.
The teachers helped to select the students in greatest need, measured their feet and provided the list to Shoes That Fit who worked with Madrigal and her team to collect the items.
“We feel privileged that the opportunity was given to us by Edison,” said Anna Marie Knight, principal of Emerson Elementary School in Rosemead where selected students received the gifts. “This goes to a community that’s much in need and to be in partnership with Edison is very wonderful. It means a lot to us.”
Statistics show that one in five children live in poverty within the United States. In California, the poverty rate is higher than the national average. One of the most visible signs of poverty is physical appearance, which research shows is linked to low self-esteem and increased rates of school dropout among underprivileged children. Something as simple as a pair of new shoes can enhance the feeling of dignity that children in poverty so desperately need.
One of the recipients of a new pair of shoes was Serena Rasmussen, a fifth grader at Emerson who loves science and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She received a new pair of hot pink tennis shoes that she is going to wear to school and when she has to go running.
“Thank you,” said Rasmussen, whose favorite sport is soccer. “I really love them.”
Claudia Salazar, a second grader at Emerson, loves baseball and is looking forward to wearing her new Vans.
“Thank you for giving us the shoes,” she said, as both her and her two brothers received SCE’s gifts of new shoes.
The fundraiser also provided shoes for kids at the Women in Need Growing Strong (WINGS) Domestic Violence Shelter where Madrigal volunteers each week. The shelter helps domestic violence victims and their dependent children move out of crisis and toward safety and autonomy.
Other schools that received new shoes include Bear Gulch Elementary School in Rancho Cucamonga and Olive Middle School and Vineland Elementary School both in Baldwin Park. Some of the students wrote thank you notes to SCE employees to show their gratitude.
“Thank you Edison for being so kind to donate shoes for people at our school,” said Naomi. “We really appreciate it. Thanks again for everything.”
Roberto wrote: “Dear Southern California Edison, thank you for the new shoes you are giving us. That's nice of your company.”