All children should start school on equal footing.

First Day Shoe Fund is dedicated to providing new athletic shoes to school-age children in Kalamazoo County who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. We’re a nonprofit that believes all children should start school on equal footing.

“After students received their new pair of shoes, I saw an improvement in their overall confidence. They walked into the classroom with their heads up and smiles on their faces. They were excited to show their peers and truly felt good about themselves. This program provided the opportunity for ALL of my students to FEEL pride.”

Mrs. B., Kindergarten

What we're up to

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#SponsorshipSaturdays Naylor Landscape Management is returning for 2020 to sponsor students at Arcadia Elementary! Thank you so much for being part of the First Day Shoe Fund Family.

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Hey teachers, crafters, youth workers, hoarders, gift givers, etc! We accumulate a TON of shoe boxes in our line of work. Do you need some? Free to a good home and great for those Valentine's mailbox projects you all have coming up! Stop by our office at 5416 Meredith St between 10am-6pm on Monday or Wednesday. Or email andrea@firstdayshoefund.org to set up an appointment.

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As of today, we have distributed 4,200 pairs of shoes this school year. Thanks to all of our volunteers and donors who made this possible!

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Our office will open a little late today, as our director is running from meeting to meeting. See you at noon!

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#SponsorshipSaturdays Employees and Students at Western Michigan University's WMU Department of Human Performance and Health Education joined forces to sponsor a classroom for the 2020 season. What a cool way to give back! Find out how you can join them at https://firstdayshoefund.org/sponsor/

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Check out our stories for a big hint about upcoming events with the @kalamazoowings!

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4-6pm (RIGHT NOW), we are unpacking this mountain of shoes at 5416 Meredith St. Stop by and lend a hand (or a foot).

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#MeetOurTeam Patti Sholler-Barber Fund Development Committee Patti has volunteered for First Day Shoe Fund for several years and is instrumental to the success of our annual silent auction. Here’s why she chooses to volunteer: “As an educator and KPS Board of Education president, I am passionate about children, their education and the equity all children rightfully deserve. FDSF provides an important piece in establishing that equity. To a child, having great shoes to run, jump, work and play in is important. FDSF delivers these shoes in a nonjudgmental manner that gives each child a needed piece in their run to their goals and dreams. It’s a sweet fit for me to be supporting a generous grass-roots organization that focuses on the success, equity and well being of kids.” Thanks for all you do Patti!

Our Impact

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shoes distributed to students since 2006
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shoes distributed in 2018 - a new record!
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school districts served in 2018