United Way of Southern West Virginia

Equal Footing Shoe Fund: Program


OUR GOAL: We will break down learning barriers to give every child an equal chance in the classroom and in life.

Rick Barbero, The Register Herald

OUR STRATEGY: We will provide children in Fayette, Raleigh, Nicholas, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer and Summers Counties and the Town of Bluefield, VA who are in need of shoes with new, athletic style shoes. A child with shoes that do not fit, have holes, or are weather inappropriate faces many challenges, including stigmatization by their peers, inability to participate in physical activity such as P.E., and safety concerns. We hope that by providing children with a pair of new, athletic style shoes they are better able to concentrate on things children should be thinking about: school, friends, and fun.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Children ages 1-18 who are residents of our 7 county service region are eligible to be recipients of shoes through this program. Adults are not eligible to receive shoes for children; the shoes must be given directly to the child themselves.

REFERRALS: Staff from schools in our region have been made aware of this program via communications from the United Way office. Additionally, approved family resource centers and child development programs such as Birth to Three or Headstart may contact the United Way to request shoes for a child they are working with. Counselors, principals, teachers, and social workers are all encouraged to anonymously identify students that are in need of shoes and report to the United Way of Southern West Virginia the gender and shoe size of the student. We do not record names and encourage discreet delivery of shoes to protect the privacy and self esteem of the child. Before shoes may be picked up or distributed by our Partner Distribution Centers, the need MUST be communicated directly to the United Way staff in order to properly record the amount and location of shoes distributed for our records.

Additional questions about UWSWV’s Equal Footing Shoe Fund and requests for shoes may be directed to Community Impact Coordinator, Christina Cowley

(304) 253-2111