Having the right athletic shoes allows kids to participate in school play, live a healthy lifestyle and grow their confidence. Shoes may seem like an everyday, ordinary item, but for some families shoes are a luxury they can’t afford. Families that the GSF Foundation support struggle with financial hardship and face difficulties when finding ways to provide proper footwear for their children. Many kids go to school wearing shoes that are too large, too small or too tattered.
“I’ve been a participating member of the Foundation since its inception, and the Best Foot Forward program has always been the most impactful and meaningful for me,” said Pete DelGiorno, General Manager of QCD Dallas. “Other than having enough to eat, having a good pair of shoes that fit correctly is the most basic need for a child. The fact that these children are so excited to receive these shoes is so wonderful, and at the same time heartbreaking. Through this program, we’re able to provide a very basic need that makes these children’s life just a little better, and that feels very good.”
For those reasons and more, GSF associates participate in the GSF Foundation Best Foot Forward program year after year. In 2017, 1,766 kids received new athletic shoes thanks to GSFF committees and volunteers across the U.S. The GSFF Chicago team continued that spirit of giving on January 17, 2018 when they partnered with John and Carmen De Carrier, local McDonald’s Owner/Operators, to provide more than 600 at-risk children with new, branded shoes. The donations were made through four different community organizations that focus on supporting kids in need in the Chicago area.
“The Chicago GSF Foundation Committee is so proud to partner with our valued customers, John and Carmen De Carrier, for the second year in a row to help these children in need,” said Nick Franek, GSF Foundation committee chair, and GSF transportation supervisor. “When we team up with other partners in the community, we’re able to make an even bigger impact, and together we’ve been able to reach more than 1,500 children throughout Chicago.”
These large donations were made possible through the GSF Foundation’s new partnership with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the charitable organization that services America’s footwear industry and shares the GSF Foundation’s mission of helping kids in need.
“For the second year in a row, the GSF Foundation’s national partnership with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation has enabled our associates to give away new name brand shoes at reduced prices, allowing the GSF Foundation to help even more kids who need it the most,” said Anna Lisa Lukes, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Director, GSF Foundation. “We look forward to continuing our partnership, engaging our associates and even our customers while helping kids in need,” said Lukes.
Thank you to all of the committees and volunteers who allowed these children to walk, run and play with pride. Check out pictures from the events here!