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The City Journals

Students at Majestic Elementary get new shoes for the summer

Jun 10, 2019 01:10PM ● By Jet Burnham

There was a flurry of excitement students opened the boxes and tried on their new shoes. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Some kids in West Jordan may be running a little faster and standing a little taller this summer in the brand-new shoes given to them by Shoes That Fit and Bridge Investment Group.

“You’ll be able to run fast in these brand-new shoes,” Micah Brown promised the children of Majestic Elementary School in West Jordan when he and his fellow local Bridge Investment Group employees helped Shoes That Fit volunteers deliver brand new athletic shoes to the students.

They brought 268 pairs of shoes—one for every student in the school, including the preschoolers, totaling a value of $12,000, said Principal Kathe Riding.

Riding said having new shoes that they feel comfortable wearing will be a boost to the kids’ self-confidence.

“It’s more than just a pair of shoes,” she said. “This might be the difference to where they go outside and play a little more because they want to use their fun shoes.”

Riding told students that the shoes might be a little big. Teachers had measured the kids’ feet but left room for them to grow during the summer. If the shoes felt too tight, students were able to switch them for a better size. Riding warned them no matter how cute the shoes were or how much they liked them, they needed to make sure they had the right size.

“We do not want you to be so excited that you say they fit when they don’t fit,” she said.

Stanton Sweeney, a sixth-grader, has been wearing shoes that are too big for him lately. He was happy with his new white shoes, which have a memory foam foot bed and are much more comfortable.

“They’re a smaller size, and these one’s fit me better,” he said. “I didn’t really care about the brand just as long as they fit me.”

As the boxes of shoes were handed out, smiles broke out among the students, but there were some tears among the adults who were helping the excited kids try the shoes on.

“It’s giving that gets personal,” said Riding, who is grateful to those who made the donation possible.

Helen Lim, of Shoes that Fit, said the nonprofit does these kinds of events a few times a month all across the country. While in Utah, the group also provided 220 shoes to students at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake District.

“We look for schools in areas that are either low income or areas of need,” said Lim. “Our mission is focused on providing athletic sneakers that kids feel good in and they feel comfortable in so they can learn, play, thrive and reach their highest potential.”

After all the work of coordinating the events, Lim loves to watch the kids’ reactions when they get their shoes.

Fourth-grader Savannah Whitchurch was happy to get black shoes with bright pink laces and soles. She said she will be doing a lot of running in her new shoes.

“My other ones were old and worn out, so it was really fun to get new shoes,” she said.

Mark Giorgio, who works at Bridge Investment Group headquarters in Sandy, was excited to be part of the event.

“I live across the street, so these are my neighborhood kids,” he said. He enjoys working for a company that frequently gives back to the community.

Abygail, a kindergartener, said it was nice for people to come and give all the kids shoes.

“I give people presents,” she said. Now that she has new shoes to play hide and seek in, she said she will give her old shoes away to someone else.