#Kicks4Kids began as a project to provide tennis shoes to my own students (out of own pocket) at Rio Vista Elementary several years ago but it has now grown into a program that has now spread across four school districts (with more to come) with over 2,000 pairs (over $20,000 worth) collected and distributed to low-income students. Simply, it is the most successful program of its kind.
We’ve had shoes mailed to us from Colorado and an elementary school in California is starting their own program this year.
AllSportsTucson.com has partnered with the South Tucson Lions Club to provide charitable resources for those wishing to donate money rather than new tennis shoes.
The program is simple. High school sports teams collect one pair of new kid’s tennis shoes (size 1-5) per athlete and the shoes will be delivered to a low-income school in that school’s feeder pattern or to another school in need. If bigger sizes are collected, then we will find a middle school in need but that is not our primary focus.
Last year, for instance, the Tucson High girls’ basketball program, the Catalina Foothills boys’ basketball program and the Pusch Ridge boys’ basketball program collected over 80 pairs each. The Tucson shoes were donated to Roskruge K-8 and Carillo K-8, the Catalina Foothills shoes were donated to Nash Elementary, Prince Elementary, Walker Elementary and Keeling Elementary while the Pusch Ridge shoes were sent to elementary schools in the Flowing Wells area.
This fall (so far), the Mountain View boys’ basketball team dropped of two dozen shoes and those are destined for Thornydale Elementary with the bigger shoes headed to Tortolita Middle School. The South Tucson Lions Club collected 40 pairs and those went to Hollinger K-8. The Tucson Improv Movement collected a dozen shoes and those went to Butterfield Elementary.
My family has purchased three dozen so far, bringing our total for this school year to 112 pairs collected at about $1,750 to $2,000 value.
Sports programs from Cienega High School have expressed interest this year. Individuals, church groups and other charitable groups have donated in the past and that is another exciting part of our program. Your donation is a charitable donation plus you get the satisfaction of putting a new pair of sneakers on boy or girl.
If you would like more info, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The shoe bank is located at Rio Vista Elementary.
Schools in Kicks4Kids Program
Rio Vista Elementary (Amphi)
Holaway Elementary (Amphi)
Imagine Amphi Preschool (Amphi)
Keeling Elementary (Amphi)
Coronado K-8 (Amphi)
Roskruge K-8 (TUSD)
Nash Elementary (Amphi)
Prince Elementary (Amphi)
Walker Elementary (Amphi)
Carillo K-5 (TUSD)
Marshall Elementary (TUSD)
Mexicayotl Academy of Tucson (TUSD)
Homer Davis Elementary (Flowing Wells)
Hendricks Elementary (Flowing Wells)
Hollinger K-8 (TUSD)
Donaldson Elementary (Amphi)
Butterfield Elementary (Marana)
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com