Our Stories

shoes 4 smiles

Our Annual Project “Shoes-4-Smiles”

The H4H Foundation’s Annual “Shoes-4-Smiles” project – “Our mission is to provide a new pair of correctly fitted shoes and socks to every student who desperately needs them,” says Nirupa Sejpal, who founded the group. The need for shoes and socks among kids is growing tremendously. We have now established partnerships with various school districts and social agencies in San Bernardino, Orange County & LA County.  This collaboration originated when Nirupa, while working with a group of underprivileged children at a shelter, noticed their torn shoes and socks. After discussing this with other area professionals in the area, they all  recognized the overwhelming need for shoes among local school children. It became apparent that this need was largely unaddressed in our community.  As a result, Nirupa and her friends took action and began networking with school counselors, teachers and social service agencies. They formed a partnership with Collaboration to Assist McKinney-Vento & Motel families with children, which served individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1) of the Mckinney-Vento Act), as well as families living in motels, hotels, shelters, and those who are unsheltered.

We collect measurements and receive necessary information during the purchase and delivery process of the shoes. Each child is assisted in trying on their shoes to ensure a proper fit. If the shoe does not fit correctly, we provide a replacement. The demand for shoes is constant because elementary age kids typically outgrow their shoes an average of three times per year, while high school kids outgrow them up to two times per year. During our visit to a local elementary school, we encountered a little boy who had stuffed a paper napkin into his shoe to make it fit. We were able to provide him with a beautiful new pair of shoes, and his teacher mentioned that he returned to the class happily skipping down the hallway. According to social services, over 95% of the kids we have helped are living in or below poverty. Since our establishment in January 2021, we have distributed 8,500 new pairs of shoes along with socks. We would like to express our gratitude to Vans, Sketchers, and Good Karma for partnering with us and making a difference by donating gym shoes and socks. 

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We invite you to join us in making a positive impact on our community by donating new gym shoes and socks for children in need. Any size of new shoes will be accepted, and you can either drop them off or have them picked up at our location during regular hours. For detailed information about the collection site, please visit our website at “theH4HFoundation.org.”

With just a $10 donation, you can provide one child with a brand new pair of gym shoes and socks. If you prefer to contribute financially, you can make donations directly on our website. Every contribution counts and helps us in our mission. We are proud to collaborate with the Orangewood Foundation and the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation to support underprivileged children in our community. Under the leadership of the Sheriff’s Deputies, we work together to provide shoes for sports and academic enrichment activities to children in disadvantaged communities. We have established 16 youth activity leagues throughout the county to ensure that these children have access to essential resources and opportunities.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers and amazing contributors who have helped us execute and distribute these donations. It is through your support that we can make a difference in the lives of these children.  Together, let’s create a positive impact and bring joy and opportunity to the children in our community.

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