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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🚨🚨NEW SPONSOR ALERT!!🚨🚨 Help us welcome @consumersenergy to the team! They have committed to sponsoring a large Kalamazoo County elementary school (TBD) for 2020! Wahoo! #SponsorshipSaturdays #corporatesponsor #communitygiving #corporateresponsibility #KalamazooCounty #FDSF #giveback #lovewhereyoulive #FoundationGrant

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#2019TopTen #ThankYouThursday You can donate today to help us meet our goal! Visit firstdayshoefund.org/donate

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When we get together, we can do BIG things! Our Executive Director Andrea asked for her friends and family to sponsor a classroom for her birthday. They did it in just a few days! $250 goes a long way here at FDSF. An entire classroom of local kids will get the shoes they need in 2020. Thanks to all who donated! . If you need help starting your own fundraiser, send us a message!

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#MeetOurTeam Edie Trent Board Member, HR Committee Edie Trent joined the First Day Shoe Fund Board of Directors in 2018 as a liaison / representative for the Kalamazoo Public Schools, where she is employed with the KPS Communications Department. A graduate of the Kalamazoo Public Schools herself, Edie has spent a great deal of her career in public service and education. Her children also attended KPS. She received teaching degrees from both Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University and for a long time worked with Kalamazoo County Head Start families and teachers in our community. Most recently, she worked as the local legislative aide respectively for former State Rep. Sean McCann and subsequently for Representative Jon Hoadley. In this capacity, she helped local residents navigate the bureaucracies of programs offered by state and local agencies. Edie is an accomplished knitter, loves her flower garden and baking pies, and lavishes an appropriately high level of spoiling upon her five grandchildren.

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Big thanks to these ladies and their coaches from the Kalamazoo Kings Fastpitch Softball Organization who made us a part of their holiday party. Now they’re off for pizza and games-after counting thousands of shoes!

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Athletes from Kalamazoo Kings Fastpitch Softball are in the building this morning helping us inventory our shoes to prepare for our next distribution. 🥎❤️

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Donor and volunteer Lauren from Colors & Cocktails: The Mobile Art Party has this to say about why she supports First Day Shoe Fund: "First Day Shoe Fund evokes a feeling of hope, love, and kindness. The mission to make sure that every student in KPS has a well fitting pair of shoes for the school year is AMAZING! Having had the opportunity to volunteer numerous times on several different levels with the organization has filled my heart with so much hope, love, and happiness. If you haven't had the opportunity to volunteer with this incredible organization, call them NOW to see how you or an organization that is dear to you can get involved! Step-by-step, we're making Kalamazoo a place that is filled with hope, love, and kindness!" We are so thankful to have friends like Lauren in the local business community and look forward to more collaborations with Colors & Cocktails in the future!

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#2019TopTen #ThankYouThursday

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