Mission: My New Red Shoes’ mission is to help homeless and very low-income children look and feel confident as they start the school year by providing them with new shoes and clothing and by rallying youth and adults around this effort through volunteer and educational opportunities for individuals, families, schools, corporations, and community groups. Since 2006, My New Red Shoes' core program, Clothing for Confidence, has served more than 21,000 homeless and low-income children in need of shoes and clothing in the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area. The children My New Red Shoes serves are selected by the 74 social service agency partners and school districts. Sometimes My New Red Shoes works directly with a school, such as Cesar Chavez Academy where all 565 students (100% of the student body) are living below federal poverty guidelines. The backbone of My New Red Shoes' successful program is an active and enthusiastic volunteer corps of 2,300 members who sew the gift bags and write the personal “good luck on your first day of school” notes. At My New Red Shoes we believe that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should feel confident and positive about going to school. Ultimately, our goal is to provide new shoes and clothing to as many young people in-need as possible.
Target demographics: Homeless and low-income children and youth
Direct beneficiaries per year: about 6,500 homeless and low-income youth
Geographic areas served: Northern California; San Francisco Bay Area with a focus on San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties in school year 2014-2015.
Programs: My New Red Shoes currently operates two programs: Clothing for Confidence helps students to begin the school year with the confidence that they belong and are ready to learn. All children served by this program receive a brand-new pair of athletic shoes, a $50 gift card to a clothing retailer, and a hand-made first-day-of-school encouragement note written just for them, all packaged by volunteers in a hand-sewn gift bag. Community Outreach and Education conducts educational presentations, events and volunteer opportunities to teach the community about the issue of family homelessness and its impact on children, and shares ideas about how to make a positive, meaningful contribution to those who are homeless.