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New Shoes, Big Smiles: A Kalamazoo Photography Project with First Day Shoe Fund

Sure, a new pair of shoes feels great. They're fresh, stylish, and maybe even give you a little extra bounce in your step. But for many kids in Kalamazoo County, new shoes represent something much bigger than just looks. Thanks to the First Day Shoe Fund (FDSF) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade at public elementary schools have access to brand new, properly fitting athletic shoes. Take a peek at some photos from the Kalamazoo photography project...


Volunteer fits child for new shoes

young girl smiling at new shoes

Volunteers fitting children for new shoes

Volunteer taking old shoes off of a child

Caring volunteers meticulously fit each student with new shoes, ensuring a perfect and comfortable fit.


Girl tying her shoe

young girl tying shoes

Once the shoes are selected, the joy of mastering a new skill shines on the children's faces as they tie their laces, even if it takes a few tries.


children playing hopscotch

Young girl playing hopscotch

children climbing on playground

girl playing hopscotch on the playground

girl with a ball on the playground

girl climbing on playground equipment

With new shoes on their feet, they're ready to conquer the playground. The squeak of fresh rubber becomes the soundtrack to a symphony of jumps, hops, runs, and climbs. Every movement feels effortless, a testament to the joy of having shoes that fit just right.


girl standing on the start line of a hopscotch court

Organizations like First Day Shoe Fund (FDSF) are the ones who help write the first chapter of this story. By providing new shoes, they remove a barrier and empower children to reach their full potential. Every donation, every volunteer hour, is an investment in their future, one step at a time.


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