RIVER FALLS, Wis.
Allina Health is distributing 10,000 pairs of new athletic shoes and socks to kids in need so they are able to run, play and be active. The New Shoes, Healthy Kids events will occur at 16 Allina Health and community locations throughout central Minnesota and western Wisconsin on April 18.
Locally, 300 pairs of shoes will be distributed at River Falls Area Hospital from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
"Shoes that fit are a basic necessity that many kids in our communities lack. Instead they wear shoes that are too small or too big, or in extreme cases, no shoes at all. Often, this lack of shoes inhibits their ability and willingness to be active," said Eric Barth, MD, an Allina Health Clinics pediatrician.
At the New Shoes, Healthy Kids events across the region, more than 1,500 volunteers at 16 Allina Health and community locations throughout the Allina Health service area will fit kids to their new shoes and help test them out with active play. Children in need of a pair of shoes are invited to attend one of the events. Children must be present. Shoes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Available shoe sizes are kids 12-3 and boys and girls 4-7. Shoes are not guaranteed for all.
Allina Health purchased 10,000 pairs of athletic shoes through a partnership with the Two Ten Foundation, BBC International, BCNY/Synclaire Brands and New Balance. Through these partnerships, the average cost of a pair of new athletic shoes to Allina Health was $7.50—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.