The donation from the Owensboro Building and Construction Trades Council was given to area nonprofit group Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet and earmarked for DCPS students.
DCPS Community Services Coordinator Mike Gray said Family Resource and Youth Services Centers coordinators will work with families to identify children who need new shoes. Students with an immediate need will receive shoes right away through a partnership with Shoe Carnival, while remaining funds will be held until the new school year begins in August. “We sincerely appreciate these community partners who have reached out to literally provide a positive foundation for kids as they travel the pathway of learning,” Gray said.
At an estimated average of $30 per pair, the $5,000 donation will provide new shoes for approximately 166 students. Students will be professionally fitted with appropriate footwear at the local Shoe Carnival store in a positive and respectful atmosphere.
Chad Mills is president of the Owensboro Building and Construction Trades Council, which is composed of 19 affiliate local unions. Mills said the donation of $5,000 represents the council’s support of working families in the Owensboro/Daviess County area, and their desire to provide encouragement to students who will provide the next generation of our workforce. Mills is also the business manager of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 633.
The idea for Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet was born in 2009 when founder Jerry Baird, a retired coal miner, read a newspaper article that said some children in his community were attending school without proper footwear. Happy Feet committees are established in participating counties with systems set up to ensure accountability. The Owensboro Building and Construction Trades Council has recently agreed to serve as the fiscal agent for the Daviess County chapter of Happy Feet.
Baird expressed appreciation for the support of the OBCTC and the partnership of DCPS. “Happy Feet knows its job is far from over,” Baird said. “We will continue to find ways to get more new shoes on more kids, knowing that our job is never done. We invite anyone who shares this concern to join our endeavor and help make a child’s life better, one ‘sole’ at a time.”
Tax-deductible donations to Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet may be sent to the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 633, 3128 Alvey Park Drive West, Owensboro KY 42303. For more information about Happy Feet, contact Jerry Baird at 270-952-2006 or visit www.happyfeetequalslearningfeet.com