For the 15th consecutive year, students from Flint Community Schools will receive a new pair of shoes this Christmas, thanks to the Shoes That Fit program.

The three local hospitals - Genesys, Hurley and McLaren - work together to purchase shoes for all children in Flint schools who need a pair. Employees will donate more than 1,000 pairs of shoes, and each hospital donates $2,000 for a six-pack of socks for each child.

Once all of the shoes are collected, a group of volunteers from the local hospitals, the Shoes That Fit charity and Quota International of Flint will sort the shoes for distribution. This process will take place Friday, Dec. 14 from 9 am to noon at the Zimmerman Center School in Flint.

Since the Shoes That Fit campaign began in Flint in 1997, Flint students have received:

  • 12,434 pairs of shoes
  • 83,496 pairs of socks
  • 18,189 hats and sets of gloves

The overwhelming success of Shoes That Fit is attributed to the three local hospitals who year after year come through to purchase shoes or donate money to make sure every student in the Flint schools who needs a pair of shoes receives one, reports Connie Rau, who has organized this campaign for many years.

"Thanks to the generosity of Genesys, Hurley and McLaren employees, students can focus on their studies instead of their circumstances," she adds. "Many only have one pair of shoes - the pair they receive each year from Shoes That Fit."

Shoes That Fit is a non-profit children's charity that began in 1992. Its purpose is simple: provide children with shoes so they can attend school in comfort and with dignity.

Shoes That Fit has collaborated with Quota International of Flint, which has helped to expand the program to socks, hats and gloves.