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Friday, April 19, 2024

Hayward elementary students get new shoes donated from FedEx, nonprofit Operation Warm

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) — Seven-year-old Arianna De La Cruz steps on a sizing guide to figure out her shoe size, then picks out new purple shoes.

“I [chose] the color because my favorite color is purple,” De La Cruz said.

She is one of the more than 280 Hillview Crest Elementary students who got new pairs of shoes from national nonprofit Operation Warm and FedEx Cares.

MORE: East Bay school district hosts giveaway for families in need amid surge in youth homelessness

A couple thousand pairs of socks were also given to students at the Hayward school.

Fedex does this at other schools in the Bay Area and nationally. Volunteers say the new shoes bring students confidence and inspire outdoor play.

“We select schools that are more in need so we can have greater impact on what we’re trying to do here in the community,” said Brad Jenkins, managing director for FedEx, Bay Area district.

FedEx Cares has partnered with Operation Warm since 2008.

MORE: Hundreds in need gather in SF’s Mission District for free coats

About 300 backpacks with pre-packed food were also given out to students, in partnership with Blessings in a Backpack.

Many students step in with old shoes, torn and warm, and step out with new-their heads held high.

“Sometimes this is the first time they’ve gotten to shop for a pair of shoes for themselves,” said Hillview Crest Elementary Teacher Katelin Chiarella. “Some of them wear shoes from thrift stores or hand-me-down shoes and so it’s nice to be able to get a new pair of shoes that’s just for them.”

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