One hundred and fifty kids in the Owatonna area have a new pair of athletic shoes thanks to Allina Health. They received the shoes as part of the New Shoes, Healthy Kids initiative that matched the new shoes with kids in need throughout the Allina Health service area. In total, 10,000 pairs of new athletic shoes and socks were distributed to kids in need so they are able to run, play and go to school with pride. The local event took place at Owatonna Hospital. All totaled, shoes were given away at 30 Allina Health locations throughout central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin on Saturday, April 26.
"Allina Health works to connect with community and build initiatives that focus on improving health" said Natalie Ginter, Community Engagement lead for Owatonna Hospital. "Properly fitting athletic shoes are a major component of a child's ability to be active and healthy."
The recipients, ages six through 12, were identified by local schools and non-profit organizations. At all the New Shoes, Healthy Kids event locations, more than 1,200 Allina Health volunteers fitted the kids and helped them test their new shoes with active play.
Allina Health purchased the 10,000 pairs of athletic shoes through a partnership with the Two Ten Foundation, The Jay Group Ltd. and Keds. Through these partnerships, the average cost of a pair of new athletic shoes to Allina Health was six dollars—less than 50 percent of wholesale cost.
"We are thrilled to help Allina Health with New Shoes, Healthy Kids. The footwear industry has mobilized unlike any other in the U.S. with a national program called Footwear Cares that will touch tens of thousands of families this month," said Neal Newman of the Two Ten Foundation.
Remaining shoes were given to the Steele County Clothesline.